As families grow, relationships change. Adolescents pressing for independence is a normal part of maturing into a young adult. However, such changes in individual family members can create stress in parents and siblings, and upset the family harmony. Illness, divorce, step family dynamics, grief are other examples of situations, which may cause anger and frustration between some or all-family members. Parents may have conflict between them. A child might have difficulty at school. Chronic, illness, or addiction may be present.
My “family “systems” approach to family counseling suggests that the problem is in the family as a unit (the “system”), and are best addressed as a family as a whole. Confusing? It was to me at first, too. Think about it for a minute. Rarely do we act in a vacuum. We interact and act in response to others. “Systems” therapy helps the family focus less on one person being ill and more on ways the family members can come together as a unit and learn to work together for their common good.
Therapy can help your family learn to…
- Treat one another more respectfully and honestly.
- Resolve anxieties and conflicts when they occur.
- Recognize that each individual has strengths that can be used to solve problems together.
- Handle issues in a different way to obtain different results.
Family therapy is active. Each family member is asked to engage in the process, and sometimes they take home assignments to practice what they learn during sessions.
Family therapy has proven successful in treating many different types of families in many different situations. If your family has hit a stress point, it might be time to reach out for help.