Many clients seek therapy to address family of origin issues. It may be for purposes of coming to terms with the past, or for learning to deal more effectively with their family of origin today, or sometimes for purposes of interrupting generational patterns in order to provide a more healthy marital and family system for their children and grandchildren.
Family of origin issues may include such issues as having grown up in alcoholic or chemically dependent family systems, witnessing domestic violence, having lost a parent through death, having an absent parent, being adopted, being a child of divorced parents or having had step-family issues, being a survivor of childhood neglect or emotional/physical/sexual abuse, having a parent who was a rager or a workaholic, growing up in a family system plagued with eating disorders, having had a mentally ill parent or a sex-addicted parent, or having been brought up with a strict religious orientation that somehow causes conflict for the person in adulthood. All of these and numerous other situations are reasons that clients may choose to get counseling for.
Addressing family of origin issues is not about placing blame but rather about healing unresolved trauma, and increasing awareness and gaining new perspectives about dysfunctional patterns that clients re-enact in adulthood. Many times, the same issues from one's family of origin get somehow played out again, either in the marital or parent-child relationships, or sometimes even in peer and work relationships.
When people can discover these patterns and understand their roles in perpetuating them today, they can interrupt these cycles by changing the manner in which they respond. Because of the emphasis on understanding clients within the structure of their individual family systems, identifying familyof origin issues is part of the clinical assessment phase for all clients at Veritas Counseling Center. A path of focusing on these issues may be suggested when the current presenting problems seem to be heavily influenced by unresolved family of origin issues.
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