I enjoy family work a lot and actually spent my early years in this field primarily using a Family Structural Therapy approach.
A basic principle of Family Structural Therapy is based on the concept that when one family member is struggling, the whole family's structure becomes unbalanced.
Structural Family Therapists strive to "enter or join the family dynamic in therapy in order to understand the invisible rules which govern its functioning."
I especially enjoy helping families navigate through the challenges of dealing with abuse or violence. Research today readily acknowledges that abuse is generational and often a cycle that is passed down from one parent to the next. It's clear from these studies that more often than not, child abuse steams from a familial relationship that was learned by the abuser in their own childhood, and then passed down to their offspring.
It's also evident in the media both here in the United States and around the world that today's society is consistently being assaulted by horrific stories of abuse, denial and neglect.
We certainly do live in a society today in which most of us are impacted on some level by knowing someone who's a victim or participant in some type of violence or abuse. Whether it's familial abuse, abuse by a person of authority, stranger rape, or bullying, all families are exposed to these devastating statistics and are dealing with these issues on some level with their children.