“Growing up” for some can be a painful experience, especially if their family background was unstable. In healthy families, members contribute to the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of each other, creating an environment that helps children feel worthwhile and valuable. In a dysfunctional family one or more family members experience unmanageable stress, which may result in a number of problems, such as:

  • alcoholism and addiction
  • workaholism
  • lack of emotional support
  • divorce
  • perfectionism
  • grief
  • serious illness
  • poor communication

Children raised in dysfunctional families learn to build protective walls and may deal with stress in the same non-constructive ways as did their parents. Later in adulthood, these children may lose their sense of individuality, responsibility, and often experience problems in relationships with others. Many young adults think that they will leave these problems behind when they leave for college; unfortunately, they often discover that their family-of-origin experiences follow them.

Behaviors learned in dysfunctional families can be overcome, and more adaptive and constructive behaviors put in their place. Call the Counseling Center at 348-3863 for more information, or to schedule an appointment.