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Houston Family Counseling

we treat family dysfunction

Dysfunctional families tend to be unpredictable or unsafe and result in short-term or long-term harm to family members. Family dysfunction can negatively affect a family member’s ability to function and thrive in the present and can result in painful scars and maladaptive patterns of thinking and behavior that damage self-worth and impede life success. Left unchecked, dysfunctional family patterns may be recreated in new relationships and passed down from generation to generation.

Below are topics that may be addressed in family counseling.

  • Family members' addiction struggles

  • Physical violence

  • Parentification in which the child takes on the role of an adult by engaging in developmentally inappropriate tasks (running the home, caring for younger siblings, refereeing parents’ fights, and being allowed or expected to make household decisions).

  • Children serve to meet the physical or emotional needs of the parent (protecting them or cheering them up, for example)

  • Lack of parental involvement

  • Neglect of financial or basic physical care

  • Strong, rigid parental control over children with the expectation of total compliance (religious, financial, or personal values, for example)

  • Reality shifting in which a family member may deny or contradict another’s experience (re-writing a past memory or denying that something happened, for example)

  • Enmeshed relationships in which the line between self and others is blurred (lack of privacy or parent sees the child as an extension of themselves, for example)

  • Conditional love or unrealistic expectations

  • Children are allowed or persuaded to use drugs or alcohol

  • Lack of rules or structure for children

It is possible to change destructive family patterns, heal old wounds, and create closer healthy relationships built on authenticity and trust. Family therapy, involving all or multiple family members, can help. Individual therapy with one family member can be helpful too. According to family systems research, when one member of the family system changes, it forces the whole family system to change and adjust.

Therapy to treat family dysfunction may include the below tasks.

  • Expression and validation of feelings

  • Conflict resolution

  • Healthy boundaries and limit setting

  • Creating structure, stability, and flexibility

  • Strengthening the support system and building coping skills

At The Resilience Center of Houston, we have licensed therapists skilled at treating family dysfunction to lessen distress and create better outcomes for all involved. Contact us to be connected to a caring expert today.

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