As you probably already have figured out, who we are and who we become, for better or worse, is greatly influenced by our family of origin. Family origin breaks down to who the family is we start and have in our lives. It really doesn’t matter whether the family is composed of blood relatives, adopted parents, or the community of people that raised you and who you considered “family.” Whether we are born into a family, or it builds in various ways, that “family unit” influences every part of our lives from our first moments to now, and beyond.
We learn more than you think from family, whether it be cultural and religious influences, values, behaviors, and even how we learn to see the world around us. Even as we become adults and think we’ve become our “own person,” family influence is still part of who we are now.
Whether these influences are positive or negative, they usually come to the surface during therapy, especially individual therapy. That’s why we often find out that while we are doing therapy with one member of a family, to truly move forward and make positive changes it can be helpful or even necessary to involve more members of the family in therapy to truly achieve goals towards a better future.
While family therapy can often feel scary, and one or more members feel they are the target of therapy sessions, involving the whole family is a way of improving communication, healing past wounds, setting boundaries, and creating a healthy family atmosphere that hopefully becomes the pattern that is passed down through generations.
It’s not uncommon someone in the family to be resistant to the idea of therapy. We do the best we can to work with the family unit that is willing to participate and hopefully through the progress we make it encourages the whole family to not only participate in the therapy process, but find ways to take the parts that make sense to each person and use those to improve overall relationships. During our initial phone consultation, we can create a plan that works best for your family.