“We just don’t know what to do about her anymore. She continues to sneak out at night through her window. 16 is just way to young of an age for her to be going out on dates.”-says mom.
“Yeah, and she keeps stealing my clothes from my closet without asking. She’s bigger than me so she stretches them out. I’m not stuck with no clothes that fit me”-says sister
“I’m just so tired of her behavior that I don’t know what to say or do anymore. I’m at a loss for word. I’ve checked out and, to be honest, don’t want to deal with it”-says dad.
Families are a system. Do you know of the mobiles that hang above a baby’s crib? Let’s pretend that we are standing next to a baby’s crib playing with the mobile that plays the music. Pretend it’s the sun, the moon, and a star. You gracefully touch the star and you notice that no matter how hard you try to not have the graceful touch also move the moon and the sun, it moves it. This is how families are. We are all inter connected and we all effect each other. Sometimes for the negative, sometimes for the positive, and sometimes neutrally. We can’t move as individuals within a system without it effecting other parts of the system. Often, one person in the family is blamed or made to be the “black sheep” or “scapegoat”, however, this is a mistaken belief that we need to let go of.
We teach clients how to see their family as a system and how their actions effect others. We teach clients to create “different movement” if the current movement is causing trouble. We help “dad” to see how he is connected to “daughter’s” behavior, and vice versa, in order to establish the problems within the system. We help clients develop creative ways to change their patterns.
Families are our specialty! One of the things we love to do is fill our offices with as many appropriate family members as possible. We believe that we are able to do the really hard and good work when all members of a system are present. We help families find a rhythm that is healthy and stable. We help each part of the system function in a way that is not harming other parts of the system and we also help eliminate unhealthy roles and labels that each person in the family may carry. We help each person in the family identify their unique boundaries, wants, and needs, and help the other parts of the system, if agreeing to, compromise in ways that give in to each part of the system without losing their own identity.
Family work can be very difficult for the members involved, however, when “the dance” is figured out, it is beautiful!
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.” —Friedrich Nietzsche