“Why family therapy… because it deals with family pain.” – Virginia Satir
As the quote from Virginia Satir suggests, family therapy is necessary to address family pain and heal a family’s wounds. We all start this life with a family, whether that family is composed of blood relatives, adopted parents, 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, both for the 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 and family therapy offers families a way to do this – a way to develop or maintain a healthy, functional family.