Families are complicated – people have different temperaments, sensitivities, and communication styles. Navigating those differences can be challenging. It is very difficult to find balance between supporting the people we love and honouring our own boundaries. Sometimes the models we have attempted in the past or the approach used in our parental family just do not work anymore, but we cannot find a path forward.
I appreciate Virginia Satir's quote that "the environment of family is most often our most influential environment of our lives — both as children growing up and as adults seeking to form your own family". Also, when I use the term "family" I do not necessarily mean only your family of origin. Many of us have what we consider family that has no blood relation.
Given how close we are to our family members, it is often impossible to see things clearly and identify the source of various problems that a family may have. Most importantly, the complexity of family relationships makes it next to impossible to resolve a particular concern in isolation – without addressing various underlying issues.
I assume that the family is pivotal in helping the child, and I am a consultant to the whole family. My approach integrates an understanding of the family strengths, as well looking at patterns that create difficulty.
Instead of focusing on an isolated problem or a particular family member, we work with the family as a system. As the family system heals and develops, it allows all family members to present their own needs and provide support to the others.