Traumatic events can happen to anyone, and the aftermath can be difficult to cope with, especially when the event in question involves a family member. Traumatic events are frightening and often life-threatening or violent, and trauma can cause devastating effects on a family. In the aftermath of traumas such as death, abuse, or disaster, families may find their relationships irrevocably changed, and it may seem impossible to create functional family dynamics. However, healing can begin with a comprehensive family therapy program.
Family therapy with Atlanta Center for Mental Health can provide you and your family with tools to collectively cope with family trauma. You and your family will learn to identify and combat harmful behavior patterns and chart your path towards healing and recovery. Trauma does not have to define your life or your family. You can begin the path towards stability and healing by calling Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458.
What Is Family Trauma?
Family trauma is a family’s individual and collective responses to traumatic events. Many frightening, stressful, or life-threatening events can lead to family trauma, whether experienced individually or by the family collectively. Some examples include:
- Abuse (sexual or physical)
- School or community violence
- Severe medical illness
- Domestic Violence
- Car accidents
Each person may respond to trauma differently. Some family members may mask how a traumatic event affects them, while others may have severe and visible distress in the aftermath of a traumatic event. In every case, though, trauma dramatically affects family relationships and the functioning of the family unit.
Trauma is almost always disruptive and draining. It can cause tension in relationships, worsen performance at school or work, cause financial issues, and can serve as a precursor for additional traumas to come. Many parents are still coping with childhood trauma themselves. Unless families confront trauma and take the time to communicate and heal from it, these issues will often compound and worsen as unhealthy coping mechanisms become longtime habits.
Tips for Dealing With Family Trauma
Each family’s experience around trauma will be different, so each family walks a different path toward recovery. Some family members may need extensive individual counseling, while others may need to learn how to support their loved one’s recovery process. Even so, dealing with family trauma is a collective process that takes time and effort. If your family is coping with trauma, you can use the following tips to help support the healing process.
- Give family members space to process their emotions alone if they need to. It is important to respect boundaries, especially when emotions can easily become frayed during the recovery process.
- Communicate openly and honestly about the recovery process. Make sure each family member can share how they feel and how the family can help them.
- Celebrate achievements and accomplishments in recovery. Don’t simply think of what has to be done and focus on the problems. Stay positive and encouraging about your family’s progress.
- Keep up daily routines. A daily routine can be a source of normalcy and comfort for a family coping with a traumatic event.
- Stay connected with each other and with close friends. Planning regular time out together and activities you all enjoy will keep familial bonds strong and offer a time for enjoyment and relaxation.
Begin Healing From Family Trauma With Atlanta Center for Mental Health
Coping with trauma is always difficult, especially with complicated family dynamics involved. Many families understandably fall into poor habits after traumatic events, which can be difficult to break. At Atlanta Center for Mental Health, we are committed to helping families cope with trauma and reclaim control over their lives. Breaking cycles of pain and trauma is possible, and we are here to help. Call Atlanta Center for Mental Health at 833.625.0458 or fill out our online contact form to learn more about our family therapy program.