Sibling Counseling in New Brunswick, NJ

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At Gaming Approaches Towards Education, LLC (GATE), we specialize in sibling counseling in New Brunswick, NJ, that fosters healthier relationships between siblings. Our therapists are experienced in mediating sibling conflicts, resolving disputes, and creating tailored therapy plans. Our goal is to help you and your sibling(s) resolve the underlying issues that result in conflict or poor mental health.

Sibling Conflict Therapy Plans

When you pursue sibling counseling in New Brunswick, NJ, our experienced therapists will work with you to determine your needs and goals for therapy and tailor our sibling therapy services accordingly.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy consists of a one-on-one therapy session with one of our experienced therapists. This is beneficial to reflect on you and your sibling’s relationship and the conflict within it. Then, we’ll find ways to improve your relationship and mental health in a manner that is best for both parties.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps you understand the connection between your thoughts and actions. By using metacognition or thinking about thinking, our therapists help you understand why you act the way you do toward your sibling. Then, once you know the reasons behind your actions, we work toward changing your negative thought processes to healthier ones for conflict resolution and improved overall mental health.

Group Therapy

Sibling group therapy can work in one of two ways. First, a therapist that specializes in conflict resolution can work with you and your sibling through your conflicts in a safe and private environment. If there are children, this session can be a family therapy session. There is also an opportunity for a larger group therapy session with other groups of siblings. These types of sessions are great for learning from others.

Play Therapy

Play therapy combines sibling counseling and gaming to help our clients learn valuable coping, conflict resolution, and communication skills. These games typically include board games, storytelling, role-playing, sand trays, and expressive arts.

Therapy Based on Your Needs

No two sibling relationships are the same, so we tailor our sibling therapy services to your unique situation. Our licensed therapists will create a unique therapy plan for you and your sibling during your initial consultation.

How Our Counselors Can Help

At GATE, our therapists in New Brunswick help you resolve your underlying trauma and sibling conflict to improve your mental health and relationships. Using interactive role-playing and other therapies, we’ll address the main sources of sibling conflict and provide hands-on skill building to promote healthy conflict resolution. 

To learn more about our therapy options at GATE, schedule an onboarding session with us today.

Causes of Sibling Conflict

Every child in a family has unique personality traits, interests, and internal goals. When these characteristics conflict, it can lead to tension and frequent quarreling between two or more siblings. While a certain amount of friction is normal—and even healthy—for social development, constant fighting can cause trauma and permanently damage a sibling relationship. 

Often, frequent sibling conflict indicates more pervasive problems within the family structure. Addressing these issues can reduce fighting, help siblings bond, and benefit the family unit as a whole.

Lack of Familial Structure

Children crave structure. Having clear household rules, a daily routine, and distinctive leadership in the family group gives children a sense of security that can reduce stress—and any conflict that stress may cause. 

If children know they can approach their parents with questions or problems, they’re less likely to create a miniature hierarchy within the larger family group. Most often, an older sibling seeks structure by placing themselves in charge of younger siblings. This can create an unbalanced family dynamic in which younger siblings feel powerless, while the older sibling is overburdened with responsibility.

Without guidance from fully-developed adults, children struggle to problem-solve independently, making frequent conflict more likely.

Modeling Parental Tension

Children learn by modeling the behavior of their parental figures. Since adults are usually authority figures, children presume adults’ behavior is appropriate. This means it’s essential for parental figures to understand how to set a good example for external behavior and internal emotional responses. 

For instance, if siblings see their parents resolve conflict by yelling and fighting, they’ll pick up on that behavior and respond to stress similarly. Additionally, unresolved tension between parental figures creates a stressful environment within the home. Stressed children are likelier to lash out when their siblings do something they dislike. 

Lack of Conflict-Resolution Skills

In general, healthy conflict resolution isn’t a skill children learn intuitively. It’s something they must be taught deliberately with patience. They may feel empathy, but they don’t know what to call it or how to identify it until they’re shown. Similarly, learning healthy coping mechanisms for big emotions is a learned behavior. These skills are essential to resolving conflict peacefully. 

 

Siblings who are allowed to quarrel and “figure it out” on their own may not learn these skills and become overly concerned with being right or getting their way. They won’t understand how to set healthy boundaries or respect their siblings’ boundaries, which may damage their relationship.

Benefits of Sibling Conflict Therapy

Below are some of the most prominent outcomes you and your sibling(s) can get out of sibling counseling in New Brunswick, NJ:

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Better Communication

Practical communication skills are the first step toward creating a healthier relationship with your sibling(s). You’ll learn better ways to set boundaries, express your needs, and for navigating future conflicts with your siblings in a healthy way.

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Improved Empathy

In sibling counseling, we help you form healthier relationships by improving your ability to be empathetic with your siblings. Through role-playing and other skill-building activities, we’ll help you learn new ways to connect to how your sibling(s) are feeling.

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Healthy Emotional Expression

Healthy expression is essential for any healthy relationship, so our therapists will help you find new ways to express your various emotions. Our goal is to help you and your sibling(s) emote in healthier and more positive ways.

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