Family therapy can help any family. Even with small problems. One of the biggest conceptions on family therapy is that only the most dysfunctional will benefit from therapy, but any family can.
My family was dysfunctional in quite a few ways. The communication was awful at home. When I was at one of the lowest points in my life, my therapist told my mom and I that I needed to seek a family therapist because my home life being so crazy was strongly contributing to my problems in a negative way.
Many people can seek family therapy for other things such as if a child is dealing with issues and needs support from their family.
I originally started family therapy with my mom. This was basically us venting about out time at home and with my dad. Progress wasn’t being made until my dad joined us in therapy. Since communication was the worst between my parents.
Progress wasn’t made immediately, but overtime things got better. Family therapy gave us a safe space and time to talk about problems at home. We each had a chance to voice our own side of each story and talk out a solution.
Everyone in a family unit is different and has their own side to every thing. When one person is a family is dealing with a mental illness or some sort of problem, the whole family will be affected by this.
It’s hard to remember this sometimes. It’s easier to only focus on the stress of yourself or the one person without realize how everyone else is affected. Even if they aren’t saying so.
I needed to be given the opportunity to voice how I felt to my dad is a safe space.
Growing up my dad had severe anger issues. He would lash out at everything and anything. Big and small. Things at home became harder and harder. My dad would scream, call names, and even punch holes in walls. I actually ended up scared for the safety of me and my family.
My dad never laid a hand on any of us, but I still would walk away with the emotional scars and damage from this time in my life.
My dads issues started getting better when I became severely depressed and had to go to the hospital for my first suicide attempt. He realized what he was doing was actually causing me damage. Things calmed down a bit, but there still was no communication and I need got any closure I needed from my childhood.
My parents continued to regularly argue even though my dad wasn’t as angry. They never got along and they still have some trouble to this day. An argument would be started about literally everything. From dinner to what grocery shopping to how I was doing at school. It was a never-ending circle of events.
This made this hard for me. I was never able to focus and there always was negative energy around the house. My dad and I didn’t get along very well either. We lived together almost like college room mates, he never said anything to me. He wouldn’t even say I love you, so I stopped saying it as well.
I wanted this issues to get better, I was sick of feeling trapped in my own home. I had so much weight on my shoulders, and not a single bit of closure on why my dad treated everyone the way he did when I was a child.
Obviously things aren’t perfect now, but they are definitely better. I have been able to close doors to some parts of my life and stop carrying the burdens of the past on my shoulders.
I’m still working on bringing closure to my past, this is something I struggle with since I am unable to get all the answers I need. But despite this, the progress that my family and I have made has been something to be grateful for. My dad and I’s relationship has improved as well. This is something I can’t replace. I wouldn’t have come this far without family therapy.
“The only mistake you can made is not asking for help” – Sandeep Jauher
Never be afraid to reach out for help, whether the problem is big or small.