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Family Therapy

Leo Tolstoy famously observed that “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” While the merits of Tolstoy’s quip are debatable, what is indisputable is that family is one of the most important set of relationships that we experience in our lives.  However, even the best of families can have struggles. 

Conflicts within families can involve a wide variety of dynamics, with complex pattern of impacts on the members. These dynamics can include:

  • Conflicts between the parents over such matters as child discipline, behavioral management, privileges, or accusations of “spoiling” the child

  • Conflicts between parents and children regarding chores, homework, or curfew.

  • Parents struggling over how to manage sibling conflicts.

  • Parents struggling to understand their children’s psychological dynamics and needs.

  • Parents feeling that grandparents are overstepping their roles, or undermining their parental authority and decisions.


Family Therapy can help improve communication within a family system.  Often, communication is a major source of misunderstandings that leads to conflicts, arguments, and distance within a family.  Family Therapy can help differing generations communicate more effectively with one another, and improve their ability to understand each other’s perspectives.  


It is important to understand that a Family Therapist is a neutral party and does not “take sides” in a family conflict.  Rather, the Family Therapist acts as a neutral referee in discussing family struggles, helping to establish and maintain ground rules for discussing and resolving conflicts.  


Even in the course of Individual Therapy, a family therapist can help people better understand difficulty or toxic relational dynamics and help them establish healthier boundaries within their family.  Some people also choose to use individual therapy with a provider trained in family therapy in order to help address lingering issues from their own family dynamics in childhood, and/or to work on not repeating those same patters with their own children. 

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