When I think of the word “family”, a TV sitcom comes to mind. The families portrayed on shows like Full House, Family Matters, Friends, or Home Improvement for example. For many of us, our families are the people that we consider to be closest with. However, these can also be the most complicated and sometimes hurtful relationships that we have.
Families are our foundation
Our family can impact who we are and who we become. Not only do we learn our language, habits, perceptions, and our world-views from them, we also learn about relationships, safety and stability.
Many families deal with some sort of dysfunction or disruption at one time or another. This is common, and most remain connected or regain connection and support. Unlike the happy endings we see in sitcoms, real life circumstances and years of dysfunction can create barriers within families. Members may lose that connection and struggle to find it again. These barriers can be emotional, mental, behavioral, financial, or marital.
Families offer a sense of support, which is important for mental health. Not having them can be a risk factor, and therapy can be helpful. For instance, common reasons people seek family therapy include:
- A child is struggling behaviorally
- Substance abuse within the family
- Parent Conflict
- Family trauma, such as natural disasters or incarceration
- Domestic violence
- Adjustments or new change, such as moving or being adopted
- Death or loss of a family member
- Marital affair
Therapy can be intimidating. Despite this, it offers families a supportive way to develop or maintain healthy, functional relationships. We are humans. As a result, we are relational beings. We create patterns over time and it can be difficult to change them on our own. However, a trained family therapist can help to increase our knowledge and awareness of these patterns and aid in creating healthy problem-solving, empathy, and communication skills.
- Finding ways to co-parent an aggressive child
- Navigating trust after marital affair
- Increasing support and connection after losing a loved one
- Regaining safety after trauma or abuse
The goal is to address the conflicts of the family as a system in order to provide real change to current circumstances. Further, having multiple members of the system present helps to ensure the entire system functions at it’s best.
Each Family is Unique
We know that not all families look the same or are identified in the same way. Family therapy can involve the parents, children, couples, stepfamily, and extended family members. It is also not limited to biological family relationships. It can be a roommate that has become family to you, or a best friend that you consider as family.
If you feel family therapy might benefit the important relationships in your life, I encourage you to contact Covenant Family Solutions. Many of our therapists have years of experience and training to address these needs. Similarly, they can support you in your goals.
And finally…cue the hugging and sentimental music at the end of a Full House episode