The burdens of life are often easier to bear when a person has a solid familial unit. Each member helps in a way specific to the individual. Those lacking these meaningful connections may feel like something is always missing in their life. They may struggle to keep friends or pursue goals because of a poor self-image.
Dysfunctional family dynamics can be attributed to several unhealthy patterns that develop over time. This article will discuss nine ways to deal with challenges at home and the benefits of integrating these methods with individual and family therapy.
The Aspects of Family Dynamics
Family dynamics embody the interactions and communication between relatives and the hierarchies and roles that naturally form therein. The nature and quality of familial relationships significantly impact an individual’s psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological development and well-being.
Research shows that healthy family dynamics are influenced by:
- clear communication
- role reciprocity
Dysfunctional relationships can get passed down from generation to generation, causing pain at every turn. Eventually, members may start to distance themselves rather than work on their issues. Factors found to contribute to unhealthy family dynamics include:
- unclear communication
- role conflict
Forms of Unhealthy Relationships
Authoritarian. This behavioral type is like living with a dictator. The controlling parent enforces strict rules that are not explained and if broken, are met with harsh consequences. The child is not given the leeway to make mistakes and ask questions. They may become overly critical of themselves and strive for perfection at all costs.
Behavioral Addictions. Daily life can be unpredictable and unsafe. Children may not get their basic needs met due to their caregiver’s preoccupation with their addiction. They may develop trust issues or feelings of guilt and anger stemming from a lack of attention.
Physical & Emotional Violence. Children growing up in this setting walk on eggshells around certain relatives. Experiencing violence can lead to post-traumatic stress and brain developmental issues that impact decision-making and impulse control.
Constant Conflicts. This family may love each other but can never seem to de-escalate and resolve conflicts. They always argue, and there is an air of resentment. In fear of having to put out another fire, this stressful environment can push relatives away.
Uninvolved & Emotionally Unavailable. Sometimes, relatives do not know how to sustain meaningful relationships. They may be afraid to become vulnerable due to childhood trauma or insecure attachment style. This can lead to weak familial relationships where no one feels supported.
Ways to Work Through Family Drama
Family members may sense when there is room for improving household dynamics. However, they might not know how to do so. The following are some ways individuals can work on creating healthier relationships.
#1. Write down detailed examples of conflicts and how they affected you so you can present them to your family
#2. Explain how you feel during a conflict but express your desire to resolve it together
#3. Sit down, identify family problems, and create a protocol to improve interactions
#4. Stage an intervention for a relative with a drug or alcohol problem
#5. Suggest that the family spends one hour of the week doing a shared activity that everyone enjoys
#6. Dedicate a night (or many nights) to having family dinner together at home or in a public place
#7. Be accountable for any harm caused to your family members and commit to doing better
#8. Tell a family member you love them, even in the heat of an argument
#9. Work on recovering from emotional scars and forgiving those who have hurt you
Creating a Healthy Path Forward for the Family
Alongside little techniques used in everyday interactions, finding a therapist may be necessary to improve a person’s well-being. Individual therapy comes in many shapes and forms. At facilities like Avalon Malibu, experiential methods, creative arts, and research-based psychotherapies are offered to give clients the best chance at finding what helps them the most.
Healing Individual Wounds
For instance, a family member that is easily inflamed might find that dialectical behavior therapy may teach them valuable skills to regulate their intense emotions. A member with a drug problem can benefit from entering a treatment program designed to address factors motivating their use (e.g., a mental health disorder). Each person in the household may be struggling with their problems, and addressing each issue on a singular basis creates the space to resolve them.
Mending Relationships in Family Therapy
Getting the household together in one therapy room enables members to identify issues together and get an expert’s perspective on how to move forward. When done consistently, family members can actively employ techniques suggested by the therapist and receive constructive feedback from one another. If any mental disorders or addictions exist, psychoeducation will inform members about the condition and how they can work together for the best recovery outcome.
Family can be the most valued aspect of life, or it can be a source of misery. Family dynamics explain how relatives get along and how that impacts their well-being. Unhealthy behavioral patterns can be resolved by taking small steps in daily interactions that demonstrate your willingness to work towards a better relationship. Sometimes, this is not enough. Avalon Malibu is a licensed residential treatment center for substance use disorders and mental conditions. We provide classical therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and expressive methods that stimulate the mind and spirit. Individual therapy can help members identify their issues, while family therapy helps members realize how their behavior affects others. Our counselors and therapists can guide your family in healing broken connections and finding happiness amongst one another. Call us at (844) 857-5992 to learn more about our programs.