Family.  Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes a burden.  In the world of therapy and personal development, there is a huge focus on family.  In therapy, clients are often encouraged to look at how their family patterns have impacted their current behavior.  Family trees are a popular tool to use to explore how unhealthy patterns are repeated throughout a family.  In personal development, there is also a focus on how problems are passed on from generation to generation.  Often, there is much attention on how families have impacted us in a negative way, the positive is forgotten.

Families, no matter how chaotic, are often the primary source of love and affection.  Families teach us about what to do and what not to do.  What to do: Tie your shoes when you put them on or always hug before going to sleep.  What not to do: Push your sister when she doesn’t give you a toy or disrespect your elders. 

It is my intention for you to think about your family and how to celebrate the relationships that you do have with them.  Look past the hurt and pain and find the love and support.  Think about the funny moments of your childhood.  One of my favorite memories was a pool party my family threw for me and my youngest sister.  My uncle dressed up as Mickey Mouse and we had a huge Godzilla float in the pool.  It’s a memory I can always go back to in order to remember the silly times with my family.  What positive memory can you go back to in order to appreciate the good your family has done for you?

In addition to thinking of fond memories, here’s a list of things you can do to nourish your relationship with your family:

  1. Call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  2. Throw a party.  Invite every family member (even if they live far away).  Insert fun.
  3. Look through old pictures and reminisce.  Post an old one on Facebook or Twitter for Throwback Thursday. 
  4. Send a postcard or written letter to a family member who would appreciate that type of communication, a grandmother perhaps.
  5. Take a young niece or nephew to the park and blow bubbles with them.   Adults and child nieces and nephews alike?

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.