The game idea

Family life is like a colourful landscape of relationships, made up of different areas of life – here symbolised by the life boards – and constantly taking on new forms and patterns. On these life boards, the family’s entire everyday life and all special occasions imaginable take place. Using the life boards, the positions of which can be adjusted as required, players develop their own personal family landscape. Person cards representing influential people in the family’s life are placed upon the life boards. Players add theme cards symbolising all the topics with which the family is confronted. Through playing with the person and theme cards and communicating their experiences, the parents become consciously aware of their feelings and gain a sense of their needs and wishes.

There are further game variations for the resources of time and money, both of which are usually in short supply.

Starting from a current status quo, the parents develop ideas for solutions to their concerns. They play through possible interactions and effects and find ways of turning their own personal family balance into reality. This balance will need to be struck afresh over and over again! Besides one basic set of rules, FIB – FAMILIE IN BALANCE offers nine game variations. The themes can thus be narrowed down and selected depending on the time available and the content to be focused upon.

FIB reveals reciprocal effects in the family system.
FIB visualises centrifugal forces and stress factors.
FIB decelerates the process of change.
FIB develops resources and opens up fresh perspectives.
FIB develops the parents’ communication skills and encourages cooperative solutions.

Starting a family - the systemic background

With the birth of a first child, a new family system comes into existence. What does this mean?

All systemic levels are affected by the decision to start a family: the couple become parents, their parents become grandparents, siblings become uncles and aunts. Three completely new sub-systems are created: the parental dyad, the mother-child dyad and the father-child dyad.

Starting a family affects not only one area, but all dimensions of life: professional and private life, lifestyle and habits, values and emotional life, sexuality and spirituality – all of these areas of life need to be reorganised.

These changes do not take place gradually, but from one day to the next – they are downright revolutionary. No-one can really prepare for this kind of change.

A qualitative shift takes place: not only is there a new family member, but a new family system is constituted – with its own boundaries, its own internal spaces and own rules.

Starting a family is a paradigmatic change: a new family is formed from two completely different ones. Through their daily interaction and synergy, their decisions and their solutions to problems, parents create an entirely new value system that draws upon the families of origin but is nonetheless something completely different.

FIB - the practical systemic concept


Conceptual texts on the systemic family development game FIB - FAMILY IN BALANCE by Eva Tillmetz

The textbook supplementing the game

You can find the theoretical background to the game FIB – FAMILY IN BALANCE, as well as many examples taken from practice on how to use it, in the textbook:

Eva Tillmetz, Balanceakt Familiengründung – Paare begleiten mit dem »Regensburger Familienentwicklungsmodell«

(Starting a family – a balancing act. Supporting couples using the “Regensburg Family Development Model”).

Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart. 1st edition 2014.
256 pages, paperback, c. 30 illustrations in up to four colours.

Sample (in German)


Buch von Eva Tillmetz: Balanceakt Familiengründung, Verlag Klett-Cotta