We all start this life with a family, whether that family is composed of blood relatives, adopted parents, a close-knit neighborhood, or a foster family. This family that we acquire when we are born influences every aspect of our lives, from our first moments to our last.
Our family affects who we are and who we become, for better and for worse. We learn our vocabulary, our habits, our customs and rituals, and how to view and observe the world around us.
We also learn how to love and how to interact with others from these first important relationships.
If we are born into a healthy family with healthy relationships, we are likely to learn how to maintain healthy relationships. If we are born into a dysfunctional family that struggles to connect, we may also struggle to connect with others.
While it is certainly unlucky to be born into the second kind of family, it’s not an unchangeable situation. Nearly all families deal with some sort of dysfunction at one time or another, yet most families retain or regain a sense of wholeness and happiness.
Family therapy offers families a way to do this—a way to develop or maintain a healthy, functional family.