What can I say about family? Like many of you, it probably depends on the day! Family is complicated. It is compiled of a bunch of people who do not choose each other, who have a variety of different personalities, and who may vary greatly in how they think, do things, or approach the world. In addition to this, there are also different organizational structures defined under that one simple word. There is our immediate family. These are the people in our current world, many times under our roof. Then there is extended family, all of the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We all have at least one crazy one in that bunch, right? And then there is the crowd favorite, family related by marriage, our in-laws, which can also be made up of parental figures, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, etc. Obviously, a structure as complex has lot of room for lots of issues. And most of my clients have some kind of family issue causing them distress. I personally have multiples family issues that cause me distress. Figuring out how to negotiate these issues is so complicated and individualized. It is one of the issues that can lead to happiness or despair in life.
To further complicate matters, family activates a very complex emotional response from us, as it deals with attachment. Our family of origin is our original attachment experience. We go on from there to expand our world and have many other attachment relationships, all of which end up impacted in one way or another by our family of origin. Neurologically, attachment issues impact different parts of our brain than other issues, and of course, it is not the logical or cognitive parts (because that would be way too easy).
In this section, I will attempt to provide some assistance on dealing with issues related to family. Please scroll down to find a variety of articles (eventually) addressing various family issues.