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The Toolbox Pocket Tool: Holiday Family Tension


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The holidays often brings joy and connection.  But this time of year can bring challenges to some going home to be with family where relationships are frayed.  In broken or strained families, getting together this time of year comes with challenges.  The worry of managing people with the potential to be a powder keg can also create a growing sense of dread in a time when many are relaxed and celebrating.

  • Are you worried about heading home for the holidays because of tense family relationships?
  • Do you revert to a child with your adult parents when home for the holidays?
  • Does alcohol repeatedly impact a family member in a disruptive and disturbing way?

Family tension during the holidays can leave you feeling pensive, worried and repeatedly disappointed.  Are you ready to have a different experience at a holiday family event, even though others may not be willing or able to change?  It’s a bold step that will empower you for future events to remember that you have a choice.

The Toolbox Pocket Tool:  Holiday Family Tension is a one page guide by me, Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT, and creator of  It includes the above three common family stressors and action steps to handle the events in an emotionally healthier way.

I am a therapist who has worked with many individuals and couples around how to go home for the holidays when what lies ahead might be less than merry.  Every year, I see an uptick in stress heading into this period as people consider how to navigate dysfunctional relationships, learn to protect themselves better and maintain their own growth in what can be the “nest” or source of their struggles as adults.

Emotions can run high in some family systems and many report to revert to more helpless states in their families of origin.  The Toolbox Pocket Tool:  Holiday Family Tension gives you a quick step-by-step action sequence of options to prep yourself ahead of time.  You can refer to the PDF as needed on your phone, or print to bring with you as a reminder of what you’re trying to accomplish.


The Toolbox Pocket Tool:  Holiday Family Tension FAQS

  • The pocket tool is a one page product, delivered in downloadable, PDF format.
  • The price for the one sheet tool is $5.00. 
  • Order the product securely via PayPal on the left. Immediately after completing the transaction you will receive a link to download the workbook so if you don’t receive it, check your spam folder for mail from (the digital products company I use).
  • The item on your PayPal billing statement will read “Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT.”
  • Due to the nature of this digitally delivered product, there is a no refund policy.
  • This pocket tool is an educational resource to help manage topic presented.  If more guidance is needed, find a local therapist in your area.