Family relationships are complicated and will set the stage for how you have relationships for the rest of your life.
Whether your family is experiencing a hardship, or you just seem to have a family dynamic that seems to continue to struggle. Family Therapy can help. Disagreements or family strife occurs with many families, but these challenges can sometimes be very hard to overcome and can set a pattern of relationships that are hard to shake. Relational conflict within the family can affect everyone! Different personalities, values or just relational styles can make resolving conflict seem insurmountable. It’s not uncommon that our family conflict can have a more significant impact because it is so important to our overall health, wellbeing, and life satisfaction in general.
Families can also be great sources of strength.
Family relationships have a significant influence, but that influence can also help us to overcome some of the most challenging experiences we have faced. Whether it’s a new diagnosis, grieving the loss of a loved one, working through an addiction, or just trying to better understand who we are and what we want in life, having a supportive family can make all the difference in healthy successful progress or continued challenges and strife.
Don’t Ignore Family Conflict
It may seem easier to brush things aside and sometimes talking about issues feels pointless and even combative! It can be a terrifying thought, or most often, just doesn’t seem worth it, to try to get to the bottom of family conflict. It is challenging because it will inevitably hurt the feelings of your partner, parents, siblings, children and/or yourself. It is not uncommon that discussing the issues seems more stressful than just dealing with them. Many people still feel like getting family counseling means there is something wrong with them.
Maybe you’re at your wits end or you just feel like there could be something better, family therapy can help! Even if it doesn’t feel good to get the process started, doing the work can make a world of difference.
Keeping this conflict stuffed down or hidden can cause many problems:
- Mental health conditions (addictions, anxiety, depression, etc.)
- Anger or resentment
- Stress or excessive worry
Or just never having the family relationship you hoped for.
People often do not realize that family conflict is wearing on. Family conflict will impact family members’ mental health, but can also impact our academic or career success, external relationships, or even your physical health. Family counseling can help families manage difficult times or help a family thrive. Investing in the wellbeing of your family and even family system can be a great use of resources. These tend to be the people that we lean on for support and those who rely most on us, so strengthening your family/family dynamic is a powerful tool towards increasing you and your loved ones wellbeing.
Can Therapy Help My Family?
It can feel off putting or unsettlingly to welcome a stranger into your family. Whether you feel guilt, apprehension or fear having an outsider’s perspective to give tips and insights can be hugely helpful. Having a therapist who is trained specifically on how to impact families and family dynamics can be transformative. Like all things, we have a limited perspective and our family members similarly have a limited scope to best understand what is happening, let alone how to make changes within the family to improve things.
Family counseling may address many concerns as a group, including:
- Family Conflict
- Communication styles
- Parenting styles
- Blended family
- Loss of family member
- Relocation/new job
- Financial difficulties
- Substance abuse
- Depression or anxiety
- Behavior/school difficulties
Obviously, individuals and couples will impact the entire family and at times the entire family can impact individual and/or couples issues. We are not alone and we are more connected than many of us acknowledge in the day to day and your family will likely be the most significant dynamic impacting your life.
What family therapists/counselors help with:
- Helping your family understand each other better
- Setting Boundaries
- Working through difficulties
- Better management of arguments/disagreements
- Assisting each other with understanding and managing mental health difficulties
- Providing tools to help you work through conflict
- Teaching parenting skills
- Learning to communicate more effectively
Should you seek family therapy? Ask yourself:
Whether your family is experiencing increased tension, navigating new challenges, or just feeling a general lack of support from one another, family therapy could be a great fit for you. Beyond seeking support to help your family thrive can be a great wellness tool to make sure you and your family are living as optimally as possible.