Interactions between family members can create conflict, and family therapy works to address and improve those interactions through various means of communication and treatment. Major life transitions, mental health conditions, and stressful events can strain families. When treating the concerns of families, our therapists address the surrounding hardships, such as financial troubles, chronic illnesses, and past traumatic incidents.
What Causes Family Conflict?
Several factors can influence family conflict. Changes in a family situation can leave a long-lasting impact on those within that family circle, and for therapists, it is about addressing those concerns first to diagnose the problems present.
Out of the variety of problems that can occur, the therapist finds the most common within families:
- Birth of a new baby
- Growing stages of children
- Moving to a new house/country
- Long-distance traveling to work
- Changes in finances
However, families in their development can occur due to political views, religious beliefs, social expectations, and other stressful factors. Finances have their form of influence, as they can determine nutrition, education, and housing for families and create more elements for family conflict. When the basic living requirements aren’t able to be met, struggles can form. Other factors have more chaotic effects, such as chronic illnesses, death of a family member, or the introduction to illicit drugs and alcohol.
Mental Illness and Family Conflict
Underneath all of these external factors, mental illness has an enormous impact on families when left unaddressed. When the issues lying within the mind are left unaddressed, either by past trauma or regretful memories, they can spread into the present and cause family conflict. Estrangement is a typical result of these issues, as families that have these forms of harmful dynamics create a lack of security and trauma. Trauma, such as sexual assault, abuse, and neglect, has huge psychological impacts on families. Those toxic environments, if left unaddressed and intervened, can create more severe symptoms of mental illness and lead to coping mechanisms such as substance abuse.
Common Questions About Family Therapy
Do all members of my family need to be present for treatment? – Family therapy does not force family members to participate in the family therapy sessions. It is encouraged to have all those engaged in treatment to participate. Family therapy focuses on working with different individuals and dynamics within the family to address the issues at hand.
Who can provide family therapy? – Licensed marriage and family therapists, clinician social workers and other mental health professionals receive formal training to provide family therapy.
Is it okay to be scared of family therapy? – Family therapy can be scary and uncomfortable, and this is a healthy experience. It can be hard to talk about our problems, but we can say that the outcomes are worth it as long as everyone wishes to work towards the same goals.
How Family Therapy Can Improve Relationships
Our practice encourages listening, active communication, and understanding of the basic core of healing from trauma and conflict. We are framing the perspective on relationships rather than the person is what makes family therapy work. Its focus is to address these factors of conflict head-on and reduce the amount of conflict present. Call us today to learn about our family therapy services.