When to consider family therapy

It is normal for every family to go through difficult times. These difficult times often occur during times of change. Even positive changes can cause stress, as they alter longstanding family rules and patterns.

Every family has its own rules, its own ways of communicating, and its own patterns of functioning. When change occurs the family system is altered. Sometimes families are able to overcome the change and go back to a familiar and comfortable way of functioning. However, some changes are more difficult than others. Sometimes families need help getting back to normal ways of functioning, and sometimes families need help settling into a "new normal." 

Family therapy can help families struggling with changes to get back a way of functioning that feels comfortable for them. There are many different situations that can alter a family’s way of functioning. Here are some possibilities:

  • Divorce or separation
  • New relationships whether it be remarriages or the introduction of a new partner to the family
  • Changes with employment (New jobs or unemployment
  • Relocation to a new city
  • Academic problems for children at school
  • Bullying (Children being bullied or doing the bullying)
  • Death or physical illness
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Deployment of one parent or spouse
  • Children transitioning from home to college

When thinking about changes your family may have experienced it may be helpful to consider some questions. Have you or a family member:

  • Experienced strong emotions that have lasted longer than 2 weeks?
  • Experienced thoughts of hurting themselves or someone else?
  • Had a difficult time focusing on everyday tasks at work or school?
  • Felt unsure with how to handle the behavior of someone in your family?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be helpful for you to see a family therapist.

Remember, no one person is ever alone. Family therapy can provide your family with a safe environment where each member of your family will be heard and supported.

Written by Ashley Cherry. For more information about Ashley and her services, or to contact Ashley directly, click here

Ashley Cherry, Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern #77483
Employed by Caldwell-Clark
Supervised by Aimee Clark, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #43736