The word ‘family’ means different things to different people. In this sketch a stereotypical family has been drawn, but
this is just one representation of a family. A family really refers to a unit of people and involves a sense of belonging to that group of people.
In thinking about family, you may well consider your own family as it is today in the here and now. However, you might well
consider your own upbringing and how you were parented as you grew up and the impact this had on you and how you are able to relate to others in your life now. There are specific cultures,
beliefs and values of families and sets of common interests which form the basis of any family or group.
Modern day families are complex, often involve the coming together of different family groups and beliefs systems – for
example, when a couple come together having been married previously and then blend to form a new family group with very complex beliefs, values and expectations.
Families seek stability and balance. In order to achieve that balance, roles are adopted by family members. How we as
individuals deal with stress, anger and other emotions are influenced by our family. The more flexible a family is, the healthier it will be. How we as individuals relate to others can be
brought into awareness and we can learn to communicate with people differently. Change is possible.
Family therapy can help work with close relationships in order to nurture change and development through improved communication.