Coronavirus crisis and family crisis: do we need therapy?
Aspects of family therapy that can help in the context of pandemic crisis.
One only has to look around to understand that what confinement may have meant for some families, it has not meant for others.
When any of us asked people around us, "How are you coping?", we knew that their answers would not necessarily be the same as our experience, our perception of the same situation.
One of the implications of this is that, in some cases, the coronavirus crisis may have overlapped with the rekindling of family crises..
Good coexistence or exacerbation of family problems?
Undoubtedly, the lack of space at home, attending to professional chores while accompanying our sons and daughters in their homework, missing being able to do outdoor activities, seeing other people, the fear of contagion... have put us to the test during this crisis from which we have not yet emerged. Old and young alike have been able to go through an emotional roller coaster in which emotions such as fear, discouragement or worry have been present at many moments.
However, some can say with satisfaction, pride, and why not, surprise, that they have handled it well, that they have been quite calm, that they are comfortable in this new normality of teleworking and being with the children at home. And some of them are far from being saturated, far from being in constant conflict with the inhabitants of the home, They can verbalize that they have been strengthened in their family and couple relationships..
This is a scenario in which fathers and mothers have been able to understand and accompany the emotional regulation of their sons and daughters, where they have participated in the organization of the house understanding the importance of teamwork, where they have been able to respect the times and needs, where they have enjoyed family activities, where we have not been rushed, distractions, or where we have been able to enjoy time together.... Undoubtedly, in cases like this, the family will have been perceived as a place of security and comfort, a warm space where you feel sheltered from the crisis outside.
In this scenario, the family is composed of elements of the same system that rotate in sync, independently but in a coordinated manner.independently but in a coordinated way, belonging, contributing and having meaning within that system.
However, others, a not inconsiderable number of people, have experienced this situation with pain, sadness, and discouragement, anger and even despair, since they have been able to highlight even more the difficulties that the family was already going through.
In short, not being able to be physically in a conflict-free environment, not being able to be distracted by other activities, not being with people with whom they were already in conflict, not being able to be with people with whom they were already in conflict.not being with people with whom one feels a connection, not being able to disconnect from family members, has meant having to do without the external positive reinforcers that served as a lever to alleviate a difficult family coexistence.
And if you have not felt calm, tranquility, support or affection from the people with whom you live, the confinement has surely been an extremely difficult moment that has surely left an emotional mark on your family. has left an emotional mark.
We have forcibly stopped many processes and daily activities that were in automatic mode, and now we are in the moment of recovering, with prudence and security, the new normality. And in this new normality, do we want to incorporate elements that differentiate us from our previous normality?
Let's think about whether in this stage we are entering we want to focus on making our dynamics at home different from the previous one: that we feel cared for, loved, cared for and respected by the people we live with, that conflict decreases, that we know how to transmit our needs, that we know how to set limits, that we know how to ask for help, listen... that we build a common space, with differentiated moments and joint moments, where we can feel calm and wellbeing.
Family therapy and the potential hidden behind cohabitation crises.
The word "crisis" means opportunity, and for families this could be it! It can be a good time to understand the advantages of family therapy, so let's take a look at some of them.
1. An opportunity for honest dialogue
Therapy is a space to meet, to communicate, to be able to talk, to learn to listen, where the figure of the therapist accompanies in the decoding of what is said and what is not said..
2. A context in which to express oneself without fear.
It makes it possible emotional expression without judgmentIt allows emotional expression without judgment, listening and respect, as each person lives the situation in "his or her own way".
3. Facilitates the understanding of the problem
This is done from a 360-degree vision that allows optimizing the search for satisfactory solutions for all parties.
4. Points of agreement and construction of common objectives emerge.
The individual and collective needs of the family are highlighted.
5. Communication and social skills are developed
In family therapy the following skills are acquired communication skills that allow to express in an effective and respectful way opinions, feelings, expectations, requests, etc., in an effective and respectful way....
6. It allows to understand the role that each member of the family is playing.
And, from there, to design and adjust the most convenient functions, attitudes and behaviors for the family dynamics to flow.
7. It creates a type of family identity
It is a good place to define the identity of the family, based on what values it is built, and it is promoted that the members are clear about how they can contribute to this.
For all these reasons described, for the importance of the family for the human being, and for what in the individual and collective well-being can suppose a better coexistence, we encourage the families to initiate a process of family therapy. At TAP Center we offer that facilitating space in which we will accompany each one of you. To see our contact information, please access this page.
Author: Patricia Sánchez Merino. General Health Psychologist M-22663.