“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.”
― George Carlin

Few things can both comfort us and anger us like family. Not according to the television shows of our youth, of course. The Brady Bunch, Eight is Enough, Family Ties – all those series with happy moms and dads and their beautiful children… We know better. Family isn’t like that. Families don’t experience conflict and have orderly meetings to sort the problem out and then pile into the minivan for celebratory ice cream. No no no. Families are human-driven systems; in other words, they are flawed. Family counseling can help with these issues.

Though some may think of family as a “soft place to land,” we have all experienced pain and sadness within our families of origin. Because we love our relatives, we are vulnerable. Our parents, siblings, and children see the best and worst of us on a daily basis. They know our weaknesses and strengths, preferences and dislikes, and how to play on them. Now add addiction, divorce, money issues, mental health challenges, or any multitude of dysfunctions to the mix. It’s no wonder both children and adults struggle to navigate this complicated emotional terrain.

It’s even more baffling when families don’t seek family counseling at critical times. When families feel shame and frustration with their issues, they often want to deal with their problems privately. This refusal to share “dirty laundry” with anyone outside the family unit can be an unfortunate missed opportunity. When tempers flare and emotions run especially high, people tend to get honest. Family counseling can capitalize on this rawness to unearth core issues, and in turn, help mend broken lines of communication and resolve long-running conflicts.

An experienced family counselor will view the family as a whole, not through the eyes of just one member, and empower each participant to express his or her experience honestly, without fear of recrimination. The counselor guides participants through productive, healing discussions instead of the explosive confrontations or uneasy silences usually experienced at home. When each family member has a voice, mutual respect among siblings, parents, and/or children can be re-established. Clear boundaries are defined, family goals achieved, and fragile relationships strengthened.

Dr. Walsh specializes in family therapy and has extensive experience in treating troubled family relationships or the problems of individual family members. Contact her at (949) 370-4726 to get help for you and your loved ones. Today.