dysfunctional family

Reasons for parent-child estrangement

It can be hard to understand why an adult child would cut ties with a parent. This is usually because we assume that parent-child relationships are not only important but functional. Family is forever. Blood is thicker than water. These sayings reflect our assumptions that family relationships are close and long-lasting. Parent-child relationships, in particular, …

Why Adult Children Cut Ties with their Parents Read More »

Black woman in white bathrobe. Text says "Self-Care and Codependency"

Self-care is the act of doing something that increases your health and wellbeing. Self-care restores your energy and “fills you up” emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s treating yourself with love and compassion. Self-care helps prevent burnout and is an essential part of living a healthy, happy life. But some people have a hard time doing …

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3 Characteristics of Dysfunctional Families

Unspoken Family Rules: Don’t Talk, Don’t Trust, Don’t Feel Rigid family rules and roles develop in dysfunctional families that help maintain the dysfunctional family system and allow family members to continue mistreating each other. Understanding some of the characteristics of dysfunctional families can help us break free of these patterns and rebuild our self-esteem and …

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boy with head in arms. text reads: "shouldn't I be over my painful childhood by now?"

“Why is my childhood still affecting me? Shouldn’t I be over it by now?” Amy, aged 37, asked me at her first therapy session. “I feel like I’m complaining,” she said ashamedly. “I’m sure other people have bigger problems — real problems. I feel silly coming to therapy to talk about getting over painful childhood …

Shouldn’t I Be Over My Painful Childhood by Now? Read More »

woman consoling man

Codependents are often caretakers, which is a great quality—except we tend to do it at our own expense, and often when help isn’t wanted or needed. The result is a codependent pattern of rescuing, resenting, and regretting. Learn to break this pattern and stop rescuing and enabling. Codependent rescuing Rescuing is an unhealthy version of …

Codependent Rescuing, Resenting, and Regretting Read More »

Coping with the holidays

I’ve gathered all of my resources for coping with the holidays here for easy access. If you’re having a hard time, I hope you’ll find some support and guidance to help you through the challenges that often come with the holidays. Articles Holiday Self-Care: Coping with Stress and Difficult Family Members 6 Things You Can …

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frustrated woman

Note: This article is about adult children of alcoholics (commonly abbreviated as ACAs or ACOAs). However, the dynamics that are described apply to adults who grew up in an array of dysfunctional circumstances, including those with parents who were mentally ill, abusive, or addicted to other substances. Feeling out of control is scary for most …

Adult Children of Alcoholics and the Need to Feel in Control Read More »

Codependent Parent

Are you a codependent parent? Do you have an enmeshed relationship with your adult child? Codependency can be a problem in any type of relationship. However, it can be especially hard to spot in parent-child relationships. In this article, we’ll explore symptoms of a codependent parent-child relationship and ways to create a healthier relationship with …

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Repeat What We Don't Repair

Do you seem to repeat the same dysfunctional relationship patterns – even though they leave you frustrated and hurt? Why do some people end up in one codependent relationship after another? Why does a woman with an emotionally distant mother repeat the same pattern with her own children? Why do so many adult children of …

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Alcoholic family

Addiction can have devastating effects on families. As a way of coping, family members commonly take on 6 roles in addicted families. In this article, you’ll learn about these six roles and how addiction affects the entire family. Alcoholism and addiction affect the entire family, not just the addict. The effects are especially profound if …

6 Roles in Addicted Families Read More »

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