How Can I Make Connecting With My Family A Mental Health Priority?

Family walking down the road outside in autumn

Connecting with Family and Building Relationships

For better or worse, family relationships play a central role in shaping an individual’s well-being across the course of their life. When family relationships are stable and supportive, a person suffering from mental health issues or disorders may be more responsive to treatment. Companionship, emotional support, and economic support can positively impact someone coping with a mental health problem.

What Are Some Ways I Can Build A Deeper Connection With My Family?

If you are suffering from mental health challenges, you may not be as close to your family as you would like. Painful situations may have occurred that have created division, or you may feel embarrassed and isolated, unable to interact with your loved ones the way you once did. 

Here are some steps you can take to build – or rebuild – a deeper, more meaningful connection with your family:

  • Be Forgiving. If there are painful events in the past affecting your present, address them with your family member. Forgiveness brings freedom and a fresh perspective to every relationship, allowing you to connect in a new and meaningful way.
  • Be Attuned. Everyone wants to be heard, seen, and understood. Love is nurtured as we monitor our reactions and offer our caring, non-judgmental presence instead. 
  • Be Communicative. Communicating our vulnerable feelings and the longing of our hearts requires awareness and courage. We’re biologically programmed to fight, flight, or freeze when we experience a threat to our safety and well-being, whether real or imagined. We need to be more aware of our built-in tendency to attack or shut down when we’re not feeling heard and respected.

How Can Psychotherapy Help Me With My Family Connections?

Sometimes we just need the help of a professional. You may not have the skill to manage some tasks around your house, like replacing a garbage disposal or re-doing your roof, and that’s okay. Psychotherapy can be beneficial if you find yourself unable to handle your family interactions. 

Most commonly, a psychotherapist will use therapy (often referred to as psychotherapy or talk therapy). There are many different therapy styles, and your therapist will work with you to identify the best approach in addressing problems and one that fits your specific characteristics and preferences.

Some common types of therapy are: 

  • cognitive-behavioral 
  • interpersonal 
  • humanistic 
  • psychodynamic 
  • a combination of a few therapy styles 

Therapy can be for an individual, couples, or even families. It’s essential to seek out a well-trained, licensed professional

The truth is this: every single one of us is dealing with something. Bravery comes in recognizing what that something is, and healing comes in asking for help. You can find the help you need here at John Nichols Psychotherapy. You decide where you want to go, and I will help you get there!

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