Health & Wellness

Guest Column

From Little Irritations to Buried Resentments, Family Therapy Can Help

Maria Sikoutris Di Iorio, Hellenic Therapy Center

Family problems can manifest in the healthiest of families, resulting in challenging frustrating and painful interactions among family members. From little irritations to buried resentments, from dramatic arguments to feelings of guilt, disappointment and anger we did not even know we had, our families often bring up the most intense emotions we experience, for better or worse.

Common concerns and Symptoms: Ideally, our families are those whom we can always rely on for support, from whom we draw strength and feedback, for whom we feel love and concern, and with whom we feel close and comfortable, openly sharing thoughts and feelings. 

In reality, few families meet this expectation 100% of the time, and in some cases, a person’s family is far from ideal, associated instead with stress, misunderstanding, anger, disconnection, and unmet needs. From our family of origin, we develop our expectations of others, communication skills outlook on life, ability to give and receive love, and coping skills, among myriad other traits and chronic family problems can have lasting effects.

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Family problems from mild to severe will challenge everyone at some point. These can result from behavioral and mental health issues in the family or from specific stressful events. Common family problems include: grief, substance abuse, behavioral issues and academic concerns in children and adolescents, mental health concerns, separation, divorce or blended family adjustments, chronic illness, conflict and lack of communication.

Whatever the source, distressing family dynamics can greatly interfere with the functioning of every family member, including extended family, although those living in the same household are likely to be impacted more significantly than those who live apart. When family members do not get along, the tension can impact each family member’s mental and physical health, relationships, and even his or her capacity for routine tasks. Evidence of family problems can materialize through repeated family conflicts, dramatic behavioral shifts in children, adolescents, mood swings and depression.

Family therapy is designed to help families collaborate to address family problems. Family therapy addresses communication as well as any individual issues that may be interfering with the cohesiveness of the family system. Working with a therapist, families can expect to learn to understand one another better, communicate more effectively, and work proactively to disrupt unhealthy patterns.

The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, specializes in family therapy, marital therapy and individual therapy. Hellenic Therapy has a team of professionals who have over 20 years of experience in working with family systems. Visit or call 908-322-0112. The professionals at Hellenic Therapy Center ate available day, evening and weekend hours.

Editor's NoteHellenic Therapy Center is an advertiser of TAPintoSPF. For information about advertising, contact

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

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