The holidays are stressful. Holidays place strain on relationships and bring up childhood memories. Family gatherings can be joyful, and they can create even more stress. Whether or not someone is in recovery, family dinners, parties, and holiday gatherings can trigger unresolved trauma, addiction, and self-destructive behaviors. While some try to avoid these triggers by avoiding family during the holidays, a family therapy program can help a whole family heal from unprocessed trauma, grief, and regret.
Gift your family what you really need. Now is the time to try family therapy for the holidays. Contact Atlanta Detox Center today to learn about our family therapy programs. Reach our compassionate staff by completing our online form or calling 470.450.2355 to learn how you can enjoy your family and the holidays.
What Is Family Therapy?
Unlike individual therapy, family therapy serves couples, parents, children, and larger family groups. Moderated by a certified family counselor, family therapy can open communication and help change behaviors and relationship dynamics. Family therapy often focuses on:
- Improving communication
- Understanding the experience of others
- Recognizing behavioral patterns
- Defining familial roles
Family therapy can help people:
- Establish boundaries
- Provide coping tools
- Define roles in relationships
- Address disfunction
Having a third party trained in psychology can relieve stress from most family relationships. Many family members feel they are not heard in day-to-day conversation. A therapist can be especially helpful in these situations. The support of a family therapist can shift unhealthy boundaries, patterns, and communication. By developing a greater understanding of family dynamics, many people in family therapy gain a better understanding of themselves.
Tips for Surviving Your Family Holiday Gathering
Whether your family has begun group therapy, there are some tips to consider this holiday season to help you survive your family holiday gathering. Some of these tips include:
- Avoid topics of conversation you know are triggering. If your family disagrees on politics or other polarizing topics, avoid confrontation by leaving these topics out of the conversation.
- Open a healthy dialogue. Create a space where each family member can voice their needs and feel heard.
- Adopt diplomacy. There is a fine line between expressing needs and intentions and placing blame during conversations. Look for ways to celebrate this season that keep your personal health and your family in mind.
- Take a break from toxic situations. If you feel unprepared psychologically to manage certain family gatherings this holiday season, skip these situations instead.
- Take a moment to step back and witness family dynamics. Holiday gatherings can trigger old trauma and trauma cycles. If you suddenly feel anxious, overwhelmed, or scared at a holiday party, take a few minutes to step back from a conversation and witness what you see. Take a break. Go for a walk or engage with a family pet.
- Remember, societal pressures don’t fit all family’s needs. A lot of unhealthy stress each holiday season comes from meeting certain expectations. Have honest conversations with your family about values and how you individually prefer to spend your holiday time.
Whether your family is open to group therapy, it’s important to remember that you can bring tools from therapy into your role in a family. Also, remember that placing blame, explaining someone’s behavior to them, and avoiding confrontation can make a family gathering more difficult. These discussions are more successfully handled when moderated by a certified family therapist.
Start Family Therapy this Holiday Season at Atlanta Detox Center
The holidays are incredibly stressful. Many of us feel family holiday gatherings carry on traditions we may not enjoy. This year, help your whole family with family therapy. If your partner, children, or extended family could benefit from family therapy this holiday season, call Atlanta Detox Center. Our comprehensive detox and recovery programs help families navigate dynamics, relationships, and stress. Give the gift that keeps giving. Call us at 470.450.2355 or fill out our online form to learn more about our family therapy programs.