Mark Hillman, Ph.D., (Psy) LMHC
Family therapy can be a wonderful experience where children and adults blossom. If there is unresolved conflict, hurt feelings, or tension in the household, family therapy can help.
The purpose of the family unit is to provide support, love and safety for its members. When families face special challenges, family members may need help to avoid or reverse destructive patterns. Family therapy addresses these challenges - divorce, remarriage, additions or losses in family membership, violence, grief, illness, addiction and life-style issues. Working together in therapy, families can help reduce the hurt, foster positive interactions and allow trust to develop. Even long-standing hostility or conflict may be replaced with positive, nurturing behaviors. Gently, and with mutual respect, family members can learn to support and feel safe with each other.
Family therapy provides an opportunity for all family members to come together for mutual support and re-integration. Too often families splinter because they don't have this arena where they devote time to working through family issues. As your therapist my purpose is to ask questions, to support the family and to insure that everyone is heard. Members working together on their difficulties often find new ways to participate as a family. In this setting, issues can be honestly addressed and family living improved.
Family problems can be a reflection of the parental relationship and it is not unusual for children to misbehave when there is strife between the parents.On the other hand, parents may fight more frequently due to their child's difficulties. Family therapy is helpful because the connections between these events become clearer. Parents then learn different parenting skills and can learn to work together as a team.
By uncovering the needs and true feelings of various family members, empathy is developed. Conflicting needs are now out in the open where they can be understood, discussed and resolved. The family begins to function better, self-esteem is maintained and new, healthier ways of dealing with others become a part of the family repertoire.
Make a commitment to your family. Get them involved in family therapy and start the process of family healing.