Family Issues

Asian family laying on the grass in Edmonton

Families are a complex unit and come in many shapes and sizes. As much as there can be love and acceptance in your family, there can also be many issues that make your family anything but loving or accepting.  Add changing dynamics (births, deaths, separations, and growth) and navigating peaceful relationships can be challenging. These and many other events can trigger family conflict.

Signs & Symptoms of Family Issues

  • Continual arguing and bickering
  • Inability to communicate effectively
  • Anger management issues
  • Unwillingness to listen when someone is expressing concerns
  • Physical altercations

How it affects you:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Emotional fatigue
  • Work performance suffers
  • Other relationships suffer

When is it time to get help?

Perhaps you’ve tried talking with your family, but the same patterns and negative behaviour gets repeated. If you feel that your family is controlling, judgmental, dysfunctional, or making you feel badly about yourself or sad, or maybe you feel that you are a contributor to the dysfunction, it’s time to get some help.

Family issues treatment methods

  • Family Systems Therapy (Also called Bowenian Family Systems Therapy) is used to help people resolve their individual problems within the context of the family unit. Members of the family work together to understand their, and each others role in the family. This method of psychotherapy helps people to understand how their actions and thoughts affect other members of the family and the entire family as a whole. Birth order is also examined to help people understand how coping methods and emotional issues are developed.
  • Structural therapy. When looking at structure, therapists tend to look at the organized pattern of the family members in order to help and understand family patterns. Commonly, these patterns are repeated and by understanding structure one can decide what needs to be done to help modify or improve the relational patterns. Commonly, by changing the underlying structure it tends to cause a ripple effect on family transactions. Additionally, since all families have some form of hierarchical structure, each having different amounts of authority, the transactional patterns need to be analyzed as well. When exploring this even further, families can then be looked at through different subsystems, which commonly can be done by looking at the groupings of either the parents or the children or how the family relational bond displays itself. Commonly every family member will also play different roles in different subgroups within the structure and one of the important things is to help explore interpersonal boundaries within these subsystems to help protect the different subsystems while still being healthy.
  • Strategic Therapy tends to be more focused on behaviour change in family systems rather than understanding the change. Strategic theory was also strongly impacted by the both Jay Haley and Milton Erickson who developed strategic formulations which are routinely used within Strategic family therapy. The general belief within Strategic family therapy is that people have the resources to change quickly once therapists get the process of change started.

What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?

You will come away with an understanding of the dynamics in your own family, and the role you play in it. You can learn about healthy boundaries, problem solving, healthy and effective communication and learn how to reduce conflicts.