We are all born into an ongoing family story. Our early experiences shape who we are. They also shape our adult relationships, and how we parent.
Families can be a source of immense joy … and great frustration.
Family therapy can help you move through some of those relationship challenges.
Who is Family Therapy For?
Family therapy is relevant for all ages and stages in life, and offers support for the whole family. Some areas we can help with include:
- Parenting – children’s challenging behaviours, learning difficulties
- Caring for elderly parents
- In-laws – becoming an in-law, living with in-laws, family conflict
- Life Transitions – becoming parents, children starting school, living with teenagers, children leaving home, becoming grandparents
- Siblings – ongoing conflict, past hurts
All of these life experiences can affect your relationships, and can be difficult to work through on your own. There’s no harm in asking for help, and addressing niggling issues early on can help to prevent major family breakdowns.
The Family as a System
We can view the family unit as a system, a set of interconnected and interrelated parts. Anything that affects one part will have an impact on all other parts of the system. Everyone has a role to play in improving healthy interactions.
People often come to family therapy to address challenging behaviours in their children. However, our children don’t exist in a vacuum. Many of the behavioural issues they present can be addressed by looking at the bigger family story that they have been born into. Our children’s behaviours can be a sign of underlying family dynamics.
Exploring the child’s behaviour as part of a family system can bring a meaningful message for the whole family. The result is growth in awareness and closer relationships for the family as a whole.
Benefits of Family Therapy Include:
- Closer family connections
- Healing strained relationships
- Addressing children’s challenging behaviours and learning difficulties
- Learning how to be with conflict
- Improved family emotional balance
- Improved communication, removal of blockages
- Greater understanding and awareness
Generational Family Stories
The relationship patterns we experience in infancy and early childhood come with us throughout life, and we take them into our adult relationships. As a result, we often find ourselves unconsciously repeating old family patterns of behaviour.
These patterns of relationship can pass through generations. So too can learning and behavioural difficulties like dyslexia and ADHD. Family therapy can help to address the causes, or underlying “roots” within your family system.
Healing Family Relationships
Therapy often involves healing your own inner wounding, and understanding how the past can be showing up in your family relationships today. The good news is that any healing you achieve through personal therapy can have a positive impact on all other family members.
Healing family relationships starts with just one person willing to take the steps to break the family cycle.
Benefits for Children
Secure family relationships are the key to a child’s later wellbeing offering a sense of belonging, helping children find their place in the world.
Children are like little sponges, and will unconsciously copy our behaviours. They’re watching how we handle conflict, how we relate to them, and to each other as a couple. This forms the basis of their friendships and later adult relationships.
We can change their behaviours by consciously role modelling the behaviours we would like them to learn. Family therapy helps change those unconscious patterns of behaviour that we bring to our adult life.
Your First Session
In your first session we will get to know each other, and explore your goals in therapy. I may ask you to describe what your ideal family looks like, and where you are now in relation to this. We can also explore how your family’s ancestral past might be affecting what is disturbing you now.
If you are looking for support with parenting, I may suggest Circle of Security Parenting classes. This 8-week program is designed to help you change behaviours by learning what those meltdowns and tantrums might really mean, and how to deal with them.
Ready for Change?
If you’re ready to change disruptive family patterns, and create a new family story based on connection and understanding, call Rosalind today to make an appointment. Consultations are available either in person at Moruya South Head or online.
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A PACFA accredited Holistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Rosalind is also a Registered NDIS Provider, Circle of Security Facilitator and approved Victims Services Counsellor.
Sessions are available in person at Moruya South Head, and online via zoom.