"All is connected... no one thing can change by itself."
- Paul Hawken
My work with families is rooted in Dr. Murray Bowen's Family Systems Theory. His theory, in a nutshell, reflects Hawken's quote above. Herman Melville put it another way, "Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."
As explained in detail on the Bowen Theory's website, "Bowen family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Family members so profoundly affect each other's thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same "emotional skin." People solicit each other's attention, approval, and support and react to each other's needs, expectations, and distress. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person's functioning is predictably followed by reciprocal changes in the functioning of others. Families differ somewhat in the degree of interdependence, but it is always present to some degree. "
During family sessions, we may play games, role play, work on projects together or just chat to assess what dynamics are functional and others that we may want to tweak. This can be fun and enlightening! Family members often learn things about each other they were unaware of -- even living with each other every day!
Call or email me to ask about family therapy and which members of your family to include on your first visit.