Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.
― Helen Keller
Families are complex creatures. They are NEVER just the sum of their parts. Each family is a unique organism all its own with constantly shifting dynamics. Families are AMAZING. They are continuously navigating new information and stressors into the family system. Families are constantly called on to shift and to bend and to adjust.
In all of the shifting, families sometimes get stuck. Members of the family can feel like they are drowning without a lifeline. All too often the struggle takes place ALONE. Families, particularly in certain cultures and social groups, have a tendency to hold their cards very close to their chest. They become experts at showing an image on social media that is not consistent with what is going on at home. There are smiles for the pictures, but not for each other. Isolation and secrecy only cause the pain to intensify. Families sometimes react in ways to “fix” things that sometimes make struggles worsen.
One of the most critical things you can do in this dark, stuck place for your family is to remember that you are NOT alone. ALL families face difficult seasons. ALL families get stuck at times. There IS a lifeline. The outside perspective and special training of a family therapist is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself and to your family relationships. Family therapists sometimes work with the entire family unit. Sometimes the family counselor will only see a dyad such as a parent-child relationship that is struggling. Your therapist will help guide you to know what is the best route for your family’s needs.
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