There is no book nor film nor special magic that explains why some families work well enough. There is no marking system for good enough parenting or good enough siblings or good enough children or good enough family members. Families are a system of dynamics, personalities and characters mixed in with behaviour, thoughts and feelings. And in this day and age, with partners and family structures ever-changing, there are even more ingredients to the mix.
Yep, it is like an organism being fed so many different things it is difficult for the family system to stay cohesive, growing and healthy without occasional issues. This is quite normal and expected, considering. So when does a family need outside help? What governs a family? What can we do to help a family in crisis?
Families, like people, do not manage change too well. There are many reasons why a family might experience change and upset. It could be due to a loss, illness, substance/alcohol abuse, a disability, relationship break-up, relocation – the reasons are endless. Whatever took place to destabilise your family there are ways to get the family safe and back on track.
Family therapy is a specialised training and works with either individuals or part or all of the family. You can access family therapy on your own or without all members being present.
What happens when accessing family work? Due to the complex nature of families, and because each member of the family may have a different idea of what is transpiring, the first stages of therapy are used to search for clarity. What is going on? How is the system keeping itself in this difficult place? How are members preventing the healing of the unit? It is not a process of blame; it is an examination and the quest for a deeper understanding of what is going on. Many people accessing family work, at times do not understand how their family got to this stage in the first place; they just know that it cannot go on any longer the way it is.
If you are part of a couple experiencing relationship issues, Michael and his Relate trained colleagues also offer couples counselling.