1) Have the same conflict again and again without resolution
2) Hire your child(ren) to take your side against your partner
3) Have ineffective or, better yet, non-existent boundaries
4) Make your children your primary confidants
5) Keep secrets
6) Blame your partner and your children for not having the life you want
7) Exaggerate problems with your children to take the focus off of your marriage
8) Allow your partner to call all of the shots and then blame them when everything goes wrong
9) Find good excuses to not do your own personal work
10) Make your children scapegoats for why the family is struggling
11) Be critical of other family members instead of talking about yourself and your own feelings
I am biased, but I see family therapy as one of the most effective means we have of giving our children the confidence to make something of themselves in the world – and to make something of the world.
Family therapy is a process whereby family members learn to be real with one another. It affords each individual the opportunity to reclaim his/her personhood within the context of the family unit. This leads to mutual, collaborative, respectful relationships that form the basis of a joyful, healthy and rewarding family system. The end result is that all members feel closer to one another while simultaneously relishing in the freedom to be themselves.
With the all-too-rare benefit of a strong and loving family of origin, your child is well poised for success as an adult. Instead of spending decades unpacking childhood material, he/she can use the happy family of origin as a springboard to adult prosperity.
(The artwork on this post is courtesy of Natasha Artappler. To see more of her work, click here)