Families can sometimes get stuck in destructive behavior patterns that affect all the members in different ways. The whole family, or all those who are willing, come to therapy together. In working with the present family members, the therapist is multi-partial, that is, gives each one a fair, respectful, and compassionate hearing. Though there may be apparent conflicts among the members, each person does have a side which deserves hearing within its own context. As each one's perspective is given a more clear expression, the members can, over time, learn to hear and understand both their own side and the others' sides. Bringing this light to the whole picture may create more respectful communication patterns, which can lead to an improved felt balance of fairness within the family system.
Some examples of problems that may bring families to therapy:
- Any two or more family members, of any age, feel stuck in relating.
- Family members are in bereavement, or sharing a difficult loss.
- Long or short term disagreements exist among adult siblings, such as the fairness of a will, or how to take care of an aging parent.
- They want to prevent or heal family cut-offs born of differences that seem insurmountable.
- They are seeking dialogue to understand forgiveness and exoneration.
- There are intergenerational issues or disputes that need to be addressed.
- There has been an unexpected external or violent event. (See also notes on PA Crime Victim Compensation Assistance fund, which may cover the cost of your therapy.)