Have you ever found yourself in the aftermath a family conflict asking the question, “is this normal?” Of course, there really is no “normal” when it comes to family dynamics. Each family is unique. Each family argues.
That said, there is a big difference between healthy and unhealthy communication in a family. If your family is locked in conflict then the question really isn’t, “is this normal?” Instead, the question is, “how can we get to a better place?” Family therapy can help.
Does Your Family Need Therapy?
Any family can benefit from therapy. Dynamics in families can be complex and complicated. There are different relationships between and among each family member. Every individual has so many of their own stressors and challenges. Plus, things are constantly changing for both the individuals and the family unit. It’s not easy to manage all of these shifting elements. Family counseling helps families with these types of issues.
Most families come to therapy when they are in conflict. The conflict may be between two or more people in the family. For example:
- Siblings of any age fighting with each other
- Parents, whether together or separated, who are in conflict
- Co-parenting, step-parenting, and blended family conflicts
- Parent-child conflicts, which may be with one or more parents and one or more children
- Multi-generational household conflict
For example, let’s say that you are a single mother with three children. You are attempting to co-parent with the father of one of them, who has a new wife. You and your children currently live with your mother. Family conflict could exist between so many of you – you and your mother, your mother and your kids, you and your kids, you and your ex, your mother and your ex, your children and the new stepmother… the list goes on.
Communication is Key
No matter who is in direct conflict within the family, the arguing affects each and every person. It also affects the whole family unit. In order to get past the fighting and into a healthier place, you all need to learn more effective communication with one another.
Therapy for families is all about communication. More than anything else, each family member wants to feel heard. When families are in conflict, everyone feels like no one is listening to them. Therapy creates a safe space for each person to be able to clearly articulate their own experience. This alone is a powerful thing.
Of course, the other component to communication is learning to listen. Therapy allows each of you to say what is happening for you. It also provides you with the space and tools to learn how to truly listen to one another.
As you work through your family conflicts, you’ll be able to really hear each other without defensiveness.
You’ll remember what you love or appreciate about each other. You’ll gain new respect for how your family can function together as a whole. The more that you communicate effectively, the easier it will be to solve problems together, now and in the future.
When to Call the Experts
There is no wrong time to reach out for family therapy. Your family does not have to be at a crisis point to benefit from therapy. In fact, if you nip problems in the bud by improving communication early, then you set your family up for ongoing success.
That said, families often reach a crisis point before coming to therapy. That’s okay as well. Therapy for families is helpful at any stage of the relationship. If your family is fighting, if you are overwhelmed by family dynamics, or even if you want to process past trauma together, then therapy can help.
Contact us for an appointment today. We believe in your family and want to work with you to overcome problems.