Couple Counselling | Singapore

Family of Origin Issues

Family of Origin

Family of Origin work is the process of removing the obstacles that block you emotionally or in your relationships, by healing family or other wounds of the past. It can include emotional abuse, neglect and domestic violence. How you communicate with others, hold your emotions, get your needs met, the way you see yourself and how you experience the world are all learnt from growing up to believe that domestic violence is normal and unconsciously continue to behave this way. Here the child creates an emotional map from his experience in the family.

How Challenges and Family of Origin Issues Affect Other Relationships

If your family faced internal issues it has the potential to change how you build relationships and respond to people you care about. You may have adopted some behaviours that are now shaping the way that you make your decisions. Some of these patterns might be destructive and feel difficult to change. By taking the time to explore your family of origin ,you have the opportunity to clarify how the past relates to current disputes. If  your family of origin was dysfunctional, you might have a hard time adjusting to new relationships. Learning how to accommodate to others can feel difficult if you don’t know how to respond in a neutral manner. How you reply and consider the other person can be a symptom of what you learned from your own family.


How I can help?

Some of us have unfinished business as we grow and move away from our families. The emotional fusion that is impeding our ability to function within a new dynamic can make us feel stuck with a behavior that causes more dysfunction than adaptation.

Therapy can help you by formulating your family of origin and making sense of how it may have moulded current functions. Regardless of whether or not you came from a conflicting or functional family, psychotherapy can help you realize that at times there are negative messages and unreal expectations from your past that cause external discontentedness.

No family is perfect. Often families involve some negative dynamics of traits as well as positive experiences and strengths .It is useful to consider both problems and strengths when understanding your own family of origin. 

Some Examples of Family of Origin Issues

  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Having lost  a parent through death or suicide
  • Having an absent parent or being emotionally abandoned by a parent
  • Being a child of divorced parents
  • Being adopted
  • Having had a parent who had a severe anger or rage problem
  • Being a survivor of childhood neglect or emotional/physical/sexual abuse
  • Having had step family or step parent issues.
  • Including other family of origin issues of varying types and severities. Even as simple as having a parent who was critical or judgmental influences and shapes us.Self examination is critical for healing. Because we tend to unconsciously recreate the old dynamics from our family of origin, the same old  issues get played out again and again, either in romantic relationships or parent child relationships or sometimes in friendships and work relationships.