Family relationships are one of the most important dynamics in our development and life. When a family dynamic is healthy, it allows for growth, self-discovery, and connection. A family struggling with communication, conflict, or other issues can be a source of stress and pain.
Mental health disorders cause disruptions in even the most close-knit families. The entire family feels the effects when a teen struggles with mental health or behavioral issues. In such cases, family therapy is often integral to successful mental health treatment. The primary goal of family therapy is to help families manage the issues that impact the functioning of individuals and the family unit.
At Imagine Nampa, we understand the importance of healthy family dynamics for long-term recovery. Contact us at 208.203.8574 to learn more about how our family therapy program can help your teen and family rebuild damaged relationships.
What Is a Healthy Family Dynamic?
All families have patterns of behaviors, interactions, and relationships known as family dynamics. \Family is where we first learn to relate to others, and family dynamics heavily influence how we view ourselves, others, and our world.
Characteristics that support a healthy family dynamic include:
- Open communication – Each family member is encouraged to speak for themselves.
- Emotional support – Family members feel secure in openly expressing their anxieties, fears, and problems, enhancing their ability to care for themselves.
- A balance between work and family – A good balance between work and family life reduces conflict and supports healthy relationships in both areas.
- Mutual respect – Each family member has a voice, and differing opinions are respected, not punished.
- Balance of support and discipline – Parents are loving but provide rules and structure that support children’s well-being and discipline in a positive rather than punitive way.
- Expressing interest in each other – Family members make each other feel valued and included by taking an interest in each other’s lives.
- Shared responsibility and authority – No one person is responsible for or in charge of everything, and parents involve children in decision-making when appropriate.
- A safe, loving environment – Parents set good examples, display affection towards each other and children, and generally act positively.
Having a healthy family dynamic does not mean having a conflict-free life. However, when there is a healthy family dynamic, it is easier to work through conflict constructively.
Factors That Influence a Healthy Family Dynamic
Several factors influence a healthy family dynamic, including:
- The ages, genders, and personalities of family members
- Intergenerational homes and the number of people living together
- The parental relationship
- Parental absence
- A parent’s work requirements
- Secure or insecure family attachments
- Parenting style
- Chronic illness or disability
- Substance abuse or abusive relationships
- Significant life events, trauma, or grief
- Culture, ethnicity, and family values
- The mental health of family members
How to Deal With Unhealthy Family Dynamics
An unhealthy family dynamic can lead to challenges, but it does not mean you can’t be healthy. If you come from a family with an unhealthy dynamic, there are things you can do to support your mental health, including:
- Identify what is and is not working in your current family situation.
- Make a list of the things you need from your family to feel supported.
- Talk to your family about the things that are not working for you
- Set boundaries with your family
- Make a plan to deal with difficult situations that may arise
- Know your triggers and have a plan to deal with them
- Find outside support, if needed
Family therapy can help. Through family therapy, you will be able to:
- Explore the roles, rules, and behavior patterns that influence your family dynamic
- Gain an understanding of the struggles associated with mental health, behavioral, and substance use issues
- Find common ground to allow family members to relate to one another
- Work toward achieving goals to create a healthier family dynamic
Learn More About Healthy Family Dynamics at Imagine Nampa
The compassionate and highly-skilled family therapists at Imagine Nampa understand the complexities of family dynamics. We can help your teen and family can learn the skills needed to repair damaged relationships. Reach out to Imagine Nampa online or by calling 208.203.8574 to learn more about creating a healthy family dynamic.