As a parent of a teenager, I love this time of year. School starts! Teenagers [...]
Many of the families Iâ€™ve worked with feel that they have lost everything. They are financially tapped out. Their basic assumptions about family, love, success, and life have been turned upside down. They feel betrayed and embarrassed and sad and angry. How does a family rebuild in the wake of trauma, or addiction, or mental illness, or betrayal, or loss? A little bit every day. If you can do that, you can find your way forward a step at a time. You can heal. You can hope.
Through the process of treatment we came to understand at a very deep level that weâ€™d made the right choice. We were saving our daughterâ€™s life, our familyâ€™s healthâ€¦and maybe even our marriage. But in retrospect, we wish weâ€™d had other parents to talk to prior to enrolling Rachel. Parents who were a few clicks further down the road who could help normalize the process and give us some assurance that we were doing the right thing.
Much to the frustration of those engaged in treatment, families are designed to resist change. Families are what scientistsâ€”and family systems therapistsâ€”call â€œself-regulating systems.â€ Since self-regulating systems prefer stability (homeostasis), the self-regulation response automatically resists change. This can be tricky during family therapy the point of which, of course, is to facilitate change!