We all have complicated feelings about family — either the family we grew up in, or our own nuclear family with our spouse and children. Family therapy is for both individuals and groups of family members to open communications, gain greater understanding of each person’s differing roles and perspectives, cultivate greater compassion for both yourself and your family members, and ultimately to heal any hurt feelings.
Everyone longs to feel closely connected to others, and most of us look to our family for these connections. Humans all need to feel bonded to others, to feel that we matter to others, to know that others care about us, and keep track of us. However, for some people, family doesn’t quite give us that warm, fuzzy feeling. We may feel criticized, unaccepted, or even unloved by our original family.
Family Therapy is designed to enable each family member to be listened to, understood, and cherished. It is an opportunity to have a neutral party help the family navigate and negotiate differences. From family therapy you will learn communication skills and lessen reactions to each other and develop coping skills so you can enjoy each other more fully.
Family of Origin Therapy
When you think about your past, do you…
- feel unresolved about your childhood?
- not remember much of your childhood but have a hunch it may impact your current life?
- not like to think back, or when you do, you have mostly negative memories?
- feel embarrassed by your siblings or upbringing?
- have complicated feelings toward your parents and/or siblings?
In your present life do you…
- feel alienated from your family?—or the opposite—do you feel responsible or obligated to family members?
- feel alone because you don’t have close relatives or friends that live nearby?
- feel misunderstood or unappreciated by your family?
- have grown children that have pulled back from you?
- find yourself acting in ways that you promised yourself as a child you wouldn’t do?
If so, you could benefit from exploring the way your childhood has impacted your current coping style, beliefs, and self esteem.
This is a unique time in history when people can seek resolution for longstanding family dysfunctions because this is a time free of the stigma for seeking help. This is your chance to grow and heal beyond your parent’s limitations. Embrace a path of recovery for yourself that your parents couldn’t model for you because they didn’t have opportunities for healing. This is a wonderful time to start!