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Improving Family Communications and Interactions through Family Therapy

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Improving Family Communications and Interactions through Family Therapy


Communication is the foundation of all human relationships and in building a strong support network. What you say with words is just as powerful as what you say with your eyes, hands and other body language. They are expressions of your emotional state, attitude towards the listener, knowledge of the topic, and your honesty.

Good communication is the secret to any good relationship, most especially in the family because of the intimacy level. Every family is unique and has a different way of communicating with each other. When a family’s communication system is in place, problems can be resolved easily, and members can interact naturally. Persistent family conflict, differences and agreements, however, are often telltale signs of communication breakdown.

Faced with complex challenges and busy lifestyles, families of today are presented with plenty of opportunities that may derail their communication pattern. Despite new technologies and millions of ways to communicate with loved ones, it is not unusual these days for families to somehow lack the time, skill and effort to really connect. Does your family communication style leave something to be desired?


The Importance of Family Communication

There is no doubt that communication plays a vital role in developing relationships with others, but it is not always fully maximized as a tool to effectively connect with loved ones. Effective communication is key to successful family functioning and to setting the tone for family life. Families are defined through communication and members participate in an interactive process to create family stories, memories, roles, intimacy, boundaries, and a life that endure time and generations.

One important characteristic of strong, healthy families is effective communication between members. Strong marital, parent-child and sibling relationships are built on both verbal and non-verbal communication exchange within the family. Communication is an essential instrument that enables members to express their thoughts, feelings, needs and wants to each other. It helps create an atmosphere that allows members to convey their love, concern, differences, and problems, which the entire family unit is able to pay attention to and resolve if they have open and honest communication.

Just as effective communication is an important ingredient that helps build a strong, healthy family, it is what an unhealthy family relationship direly needs. Poor communication is a common factor in families experiencing excessive conflict, lack of intimacy, weak emotional bonding, and ineffective problem-solving skills. Poor communication is often a risk factor for divorce and marital separation, and emotional and behavioral health issues with members, especially the children. Family communication problems can also bleed beyond the four corners of the home when the same poor communication styles are applied in the workplace, school, and other community settings.


Good versus Poor Family Communication

A family without good communication is like a ship sailing without rudder. It will wallow even in still water and can dangerously reel out of control in stormy times. Family communication-related problems may manifest in a number of ways. They may range from the couple’s misunderstanding the other’s request for an errand to never-ending sibling battles and life-changing situations involving a child engaged in dangerous or unlawful behavior.

The effectiveness of family communication is manifested in how family members actively choose whether to connect or disengage with each other. The style in how your family communicates influences the way how each member interacts with the rest of the world. You may not always agree, but if you have good communication patterns, each of you can exchange ideas and feelings with respect, even when angry.

The more effective your family communication is, the more you all become open in sharing your thoughts and feelings. Ultimately, it helps foster a safe home environment where everyone can feel comfortable and secure in the family relationship. On the other hand, the chronic use of poor communication in families is demonstrated in the following harmful fashion:


  • Using insults, name-calling and other forms of abusive speech
  • Yelling
  • Swearing
  • Blaming
  • Silent-treatment or never talking to some members
  • Keeping or hiding family secrets
  • Labeling a person as bad, instead of focusing on the wrong behavior
  • Using terms such as “always” or “never”
  • Using ultimatums or threats
  • Sidestepping issues


Research shows that poor communication can create rifts, dissatisfaction and fear between couples, which may eventually lead to marriage failure. Ineffective use of communication can diminish the bond with children, causing them to feel the lack or absence of parental guidance and support. This can result in low self-esteem and loss of direction, leading children to engage in dangerous activities and unhealthy relationships.


How Family Therapy Can Help

Family therapy is often seen as an effective treatment to improve communication and understanding so vital during times when the family is experiencing conflict, tension, disagreements, and other stressful situations. It is a common form of counseling that considers the family as the unit of treatment, and the individual member that is affecting the entire unit is regarded as part of the sub-system.

In most cases, individual problems involve and affect the whole family. Inversely, issues gripping the entire family can trigger negative behavior in one or more family members, and such negative behavior can have an adverse impact on the rest of the family. Each member can have reactions poles apart from each other, but are, in fact, an integral part of a whole. 

Being interconnected, it can be difficult for the family to overcome challenges and make real changes if the communication line is not working properly. This is the foundation on which family therapy stands. Families with a member struggling with issues that affect the entire family unit can seek this kind of counseling. Once the whole family is given the opportunity to come together and be heard, all the crumbled pieces of the puzzle can be put together to find a solution.

For many families, resolving conflicts with effective communication is the starting point to function better as a whole, to reduce tension, and to stay connected with each other within the system. Family therapy treats the whole system as a resource for healing and change.


Staying Connected as a Family

Families and family dynamics are not static. They are constantly changing amidst the changing realities of our larger society. Without effective communication through a respectful exchange of ideas and feelings, through planning of activities, and through developing strategies to work out difficulties, any challenge can develop into a negative episode for the family.

If your family is experiencing faulty communication, it may be beneficial to seek intervention from a professional. There is no sense waiting for your communication issues to become a full-blown crisis for you to seek help. There are experienced and trained family counselors who can meet the needs of your family and the individual members within your family. It is important to know how to choose a good therapist to be assured of the benefits of counseling.

Family counselors independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC are professionally licensed to help your family develop or improve communication and interaction in your unit. One of them is the right fit family counselor who can meet the specific needs of your family and offer the most appropriate avenue for counseling that will work best to keep your family connected.

Keep in mind that being proactive and seeking the right help can prevent a budding dysfunction from becoming a crisis. Call CCS – North Fayetteville Office – Fayetteville, NC now to schedule an appointment.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services

Counties: Cumberland, Bladen and Sampson Counties, NC
Areas: Fayetteville NC, Ft Bragg NC, Pope Field NC, Sliver City NC, Linden NC, Bowmore NC, Autryville NC, Bunnlevel NC, Erwin NC, Dundarrach NC, Pineview NC, Rex NC, Lemon Springs NC, Johnsonville NC, Eastover NC, Stedman NC and Wade, NC
Zip Codes: 28311, 28395, 28390, 28356

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-636-0011 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: 910-308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

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Carolina Counseling Services – North Fayetteville Office, Fayetteville, NC

422 McArthur Road, Suite 2
FayettevilleNC 28311

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311

Choose your Therapist

  • Becky Clark, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Anxiety, Depression, Individuals, Couples, Geriatrics, Criminal Justice, Stress Management, Loss and Grief related to death, disability, divorce, deployment, “empty nest”, retirement and other major life transitions
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Fayetteville, NC