Family Therapy looks at the members of a family
as a cohesive emotional unit.
Each person has a designated role and associated expectations,
which directly and indirectly affect the behaviors of the others.
If one person changes, or becomes anxious, overwhelmed or acts out,
it impacts and creates change in the other members of the system.
Which is another way of saying...
If one person in the family is having problems,
it is a symptom of a problem within the system.
The same process that a healthy family system employs to promote cohesiveness and cooperation, emotional interdependence, can quickly intensify when one of the members gets anxious. As one member becomes anxious, so too will the other members of the family, albeit in different ways. As anxiety increases, that emotional interdependence and connection between family members becomes more stressful than comforting. Eventually, one or more members feels overwhelmed, isolated, or out of control. These are the people who accommodate the most to reduce tension in others. It is a reciprocal interaction.
In our work together, we will look at interpersonal dynamics, the roles and expectations of each person in the family, and the behavioral patterns that emerge over time. Our goal will be to address the instability in the system, to discover new ways to communicate effectively, rewrite any family roles that need to be changed or updated, and return to a connected and cooperative family unit.