Family Therapy

We are all born into a family, whether of one or many.  It is our first experience of being nurtured, cared for, held and protected.  As we grow, our family grows too, in size, in experiences, and in its central place in our world.

When a family is working smoothly, we have a background of ready support, guidance, and a kind of cushioning when the road gets bumpy.  There’s a certain balance between all the family members and there’s a sense of safety.

Most families work well when different family members share the tasks and roles.  The problems occur when family members  get “stuck” in a particular role, like the same person always having to vacuum, or the one who’s always in trouble, or the same person who is always the one who is angry.

It is when the family starts to feel too “rigid” and “fixed” and not flexible enough that family therapy can be helpful.

Communicating differently is the cornerstone of family therapy. In family therapy sessions, family members begin to talk more directly with each other, learning about each others’ roles.  They experience being heard in new ways, expressing empathy and validation for each others feelings and needs. Family members ask for what they want in ways that people have choice as to what and how they can give.  Tasks are shared in new ways and reciprocity between family members increases.

When the family comes to therapy together there is always a loyalty and closeness even if it is not apparent.  By talking together and developing a sensitivity to each others feelings, it is  easier to identify confusing communication, and allow the closeness of the family to emerge.  Then, like the family in the picture above, being together can be fun, and strengthening to each person’s sense of self-esteem and feelings of belonging.

If you are interested in learning more about family therapy, you are welcome to call and come in for a consultation.

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