Family Reconciliation: Bringing Back a Family Member Who Is Estranged

ottawa family therapy to improve relationshipsFamily Counselling May Be Needed To Reunite Your Family

Supposedly, family means that no one gets left behind, but there is often a black sheep within the family, and someone feels left out, distant, and does not come home very much. Maybe mom and/or dad are not talking to one of the kids: maybe one adult child feels disconnected; maybe it is an addiction that holds one away from the family. With the help of family therapy, people can begin to name the wounds that distance family members and start the road to the reconciliation process to bring families together again

Often enough, people hear the devastating words, “I never want to see you again!” from a parent, a sibling, or a child, and we all know the devastating feeling that is. What happened to this family relationship? Where did the marriage or family unity go? Sometimes people would rather fight than make love! Or keep a grudge rather than forgive!

family therapy in ottawaWork On Family Reconciliation

Family reconciliation is possible and when well done, can bring joy, healing, excitement and a sense of renewed attachment. Rebuilding relationships requires much emotional work and willingness for each person involved. Often, re-establishing relationships with family members can appear to be an impossible task. The hurt is too big! The separation too long! The other has not apologized! Yet, sometimes people are surprised when the road to healing leads to new beginnings.

Of course there are questions and concerns when thinking of family reconciliation.
Will reconciliation really work and can I handle the possibility of being rejected all over again? Have we changed and have we both experienced significant emotional growth?  Have I put my hurt and anger aside? Am I strong enough to maintain clear, respectful boundaries? Do I or the others feel the need to rehash the past? Will reconciliation add to or detract from my life? Do I need it now?

Martin RoversMeet With An Ottawa Therapist

If you believe the time may be right to reconcile – move slowly. Find a good marriage or family therapist. Take slow, baby steps while you begin to build trust – both in yourself and with your relatives. It is much easier to move forward slowly than it is to try to pull back if you have moved too fast. Start out accentuating the positive. Reminisce about good memories, share mutual interests, and express positive feelings. Start small, and do more one to one than engaging the whole family system at one time. Keep your time short and don’t discuss difficult issues that come up with your family until you have had time to work through intense emotions alone or with supportive friends.

Dr. Martin Rovers, Marriage and Family Therapist