Family Problems Come in All Shapes and Sizes
There is no such thing as the perfect family. Every family is unique with
its own combination of strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes families get overwhelmed
by what seems like an endless list of challenges when it comes to juggling
work, school and individual family members’ needs. And sometimes families
are blindsided by a huge upheaval such as a mental or physical illness, a job
loss, or an addiction. Even “joyful” events such as a wedding,
a job promotion, or a financial windfall can disrupt a family with unexpected
consequences. Seeking a professional therapist may help.
The more problems there are within one family, such as a depressed parent
combined with a defiant teen-ager, the more challenging it will be to find
the best combination of treatment solutions. Treatment would depend upon the
nature of the problems and the willingness and ability of family members to
participate. Sometimes couple therapy may be in order or it may be that family
group therapy combined with individual therapy is required.
Types of Family Problems Commonly Treated by MFTs
- Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety or phobias
- Communication problems
- Domestic violence
- In-law challenges
- Intolerance of differences
- Inability to manage or resolve conflicts
- Over-dependency or extreme autonomy
- Financial difficulties or excesses
- Sexual abuse
- Teen issues
- Chronic crises or unexpected upheavals
- Inadequate problem solving skills
- Favoring or disfavoring family members
- Unwanted separation due to job or personal demands
What You Can Do Right Now
- Face reality. Be fearless and compile a list of what must be accepted
and what must be changed both internally (within yourself) and externally
specific). This is your starting point for prioritizing challenges
and identifying the resources you’ll need to resolve them. It will
also help you identify what is and is not within your control.
- Take care of yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
- Find and ask for help. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help but
remember that therapists are trained to provide valuable perspective
diagnosing and treating family members of all ages.
- Be open to change.