Families for Life ™ is an independent, non judgemental and confidential counselling and support service specifically aimed at families or friends who have been affected by radicalisation. We work to the BACP (British Association of Counsellors & Psychotherapists) ethical framework for Good Practice in Psychotherapy and Counselling.
Families for Life ™offers a professional, ethical service which recognises that many clients seek help at a vulnerable stage in their lives and need to be treated in a confidential way.
Families for Life™ was set up in 2016 as a result of being personally affected by the impact of radicalisation. It was during this immensely difficult time in my search for support that I became increasingly conscious of the lack of awareness and support within the wider community for families and individuals alike.
On the front line of the fight against radicalisation in the U.K are families. It is often parents and siblings that notice changes in the behaviour of the radicalised individual. Particularly when they leave to fight, it is the families that are left to face the fear and sadness of loss, as well as the stigma and judgement of the community around them and to confront those who question "how did you raise your child for them to do this?”. In the case of return, they also have to tackle the reintegration and mental health issues of the individual, as well as their own trauma.
Families for Life™ provides families with a safe environment in which to voice their experiences and empower them to share similar problems. Family support of (possible) radicalisation is primarily about counselling and aiding parents in dealing with the situation at hand. We offer support for all the relatives and friends who may have concerns or worries about a loved one who may be showing signs of radicalisation. This can be provided via family helpline or by providing one- to- one, family counselling or outreach work.
We also offer workshops to raise awareness within families and to better equip them with the suitable tools and strategies to understand the radicalisation process and eventually help them to cope with the aftermath of radicalisation.
At the same time, by working on trust, we aim at helping families maintain a good relationship with their child and strengthening them within their social environment.
Family counselling is one of the most effective tools. Nothing is a stronger source for creating a living counter-narrative to radical ideals than the deep attachments and emotions harnessed in a family.