Our families have the potential to be our biggest supporters, those we turn to when we need help or comfort. At the same time, many family members come with “baggage,” and spending time with them can even be triggering. If your family of origin included abuse or toxicity of any kind, time with family can be painful.
If you have complicated feelings about your family, or even need to sever ties with them to live most healthfully — that’s OK. A good therapist can help you work through these relationships and forge a better understanding of your family dynamic and what created it. For most of us, enforcing boundaries with difficult family members can go a long way toward building better relationships, allowing future encounters to be less problematic, and more satisfying.
A therapist can help you set boundaries that are clear, consistent, considerate, and healthy for you. It can be hard to communicate boundaries with your family, and they may be resistant at first. But you have every right to assert your needs, even with family.