What is family of origin counseling?
One’s family of origin refers to the parents, siblings, and other relatives that a person grew up with.
People in therapy often find that they learned unhealthy behaviors as children. Many lack the skills necessary to maintain their mental health because their home life was turbulent, restrictive, or unloving. These conditions can leave a person without coping strategies to handle stress, anger, and fear.
Other clients come from abusive homes and carry unresolved feelings such as shame that continue to shape them, even years or decades later.
Finally, some people face ongoing problems with their families of origin. These can range from fights over money or a family business to conflicts with siblings over the care of an elderly parent.
In family of origin counseling, a skilled therapist will tailor her approach based on the client’s needs. Someone who was sexually abused as a child will need to learn different skills than someone who was raised by drug addicts. However, talk therapy is a productive way for all clients to examine how these issues continue to affect them. Once they have a better understanding, a therapist can help them learn more productive behaviors or unlearn destructive ones.
How therapy can help people address issues with their families of origin
Children learn from the people who raise them. When a parent, grandparent, or older sibling does not have healthy life skills, children pattern their behavior on unsuccessful strategies.
They may respond to anger by becoming violent. They may be unwilling to trust others or form close attachments because their own family members were absent.
Therapy provides a safe opportunity for clients to examine their behavior and make changes. For example, if they learned to react to stress by giving up at the first sign of trouble, a therapist can provide more effective coping strategies to help the person become more resilient.
Counselors are also trained to help survivors of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. In some instances, these were so traumatic that people have erected elaborate mental barriers as a self-defense mechanism. With patience, a counselor can help a client address these issues in a healthy way.
For ongoing problems with family members, a therapist can provide guidance for effective conflict resolution strategies or offer other advice that applies to the client’s unique needs.
Importantly, many people in therapy struggle with multiple issues. It is important to find a counselor who can address each item that is causing trouble. An experienced therapist will work to treat the whole person, not a single issue.
Contact the MindSol Wellness Center of Sarasota, FL to schedule a counseling appointment
To schedule an individual session for family of origin counseling, contact the MindSol Wellness Center of Sarasota, FL at (941) 256-3725.