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Shawna Crabill, Marriage Therapist, Family Therapist, Individual Therapist, Couple Therapist, Therapist

Family Therapy: Is your Family Dysfunctional?

Family therapy seeks to understand family dynamics and patterns of behavior. It is a branch of psychotherapy that places the focus on these patterns of behavior as opposed to the individual. The counselor adopts a model that will be effective in addressing the conflicts between family members. Various dynamics within the unit are evaluated before an approach is chosen.

There are certain patterns of behavior that indicate a family is dysfunctional. Here are some signs you and your loved ones may need to sit for a session with a counselor.

Negativity and Poor Communication

When was the last time you had a good time with your family members? Are people within the household always negative and arguing with each other? An atmosphere characterized by negativity and arguments is not ideal for making plans or resolving conflict. In such families, some members are blamed over and over again. There are constant arguments over the same thing. Despite the constant arguments, nothing ever gets resolved.

Unrealistic Expectations

Every family needs rules to uphold order. However, rigid rules can often cause conflicts. Such an environment can encourage rebellion, especially if other members are not involved in decision making.

Inconsistent Rules

Inconsistent rules are worse than strict orders given to family members. Children may not understand if they are going to be punished at any one time. They may feel that the system is unfair and they will often rebel against parents, teachers and authority.

Closed Family

In a closed family, members are not allowed to share information with friends. In some cases, no one is even allowed to talk to guests about what goes on in the household. People from certain cultures, races or backgrounds are sometimes not allowed in the house. There may be secrets that run in the family. Members end up feeling their dignity has been violated.


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