Siblings in Family Play Therapy

Family Counselling for High Sibling Conflict

Empathy Training Play Therapy Sibling Relationships

Is this normal? Do I need help?

Sibling rivalry is as old as time. Way back in the beginning Cain and Abel exhibited extreme jealousy and conflict. Once there are two people living together there will be conflict. But depending on personality, shared interests, and emotional intelligence some siblings actually have harmonious relationships.   But, not all conflict is problematic or threatening. So why would you consider counselling?

Psychological harm

If the insults, and threats are being internalised by one child, maybe a child who is very sensitive,  and impairing their self-image. Sensitive kids can become anxious  when overpowered by the anger or rage of another dominant or aggressive sibling. Aggressive sibling relationships can create domino effect extending from the home to school and general peer relationship difficulties (social withdrawal, poor social skills, peer rejection). Family therapy should be considered for both children.

Physical Harm

Children fight, especially brothers, but if a child is being injured at the expense of a sibling repeatedly, you have a problem bigger than you. Honestly, if you were able to deal with it on your own, it would not be a repetitive problem. As a parent you have a responsibility to keep all your children safe. If you can’t provide safety get help before the external systems of governmental child protection services has to get involved.

Combative Family Culture

Every family has conflict. However if the general atmosphere of your home is tense, combative, and disconnected it could be problematic. Children thrive in an atmosphere of warmth, open expression of affection, acceptance, emotional intelligence and open communication and constructive problem solving. Power and domination in the home is associated with poorer outcomes for children.

Benefits of Family Play Therapy for Sibling Conflict

  • Better communication
  • Discover and encourage shared interest
  • Relationship repair – apology and forgiveness
  • Competition Skills – how to win, lose, and bounce back
  • Problem solving & Conflict Resolution
  • Relationship building skills
  • Assertiveness
  • Emotional fortitude for the highly sensitive child


  • Story-telling
  • Art making and processing
  • Sandtray
  • Game-playing
  • Puppet-play

Read More: How Play Helps Your Child Heal


Help for Families Canada  serves children, parents, and families in South Edmonton and Downtown Edmonton area. We offer a play therapy  for the children, art and talk therapy for teens, parent coaching for mom & dads, and family therapy.

Visit: Counselling Services 

Contact us:                  780-916-4357“>780-916-4357

Related Therapy Resources for Child Psychologists or Social Workers

Siblings Without Rivalry

Siblings You Are Stuck Together so Stick Together

Bratty Brothers and Selfish Sisters

Published by Help For Families Canada

Help for Families Canada is a counselling and consulting organisation serving Edmonton, locally, and families, globally. We specialise in offering child and family therapy for kids and parents via play therapy interventions.

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