What are family of origin issues?  Doing family of origin work in therapy basically involves healing from the past in order to move forward in the present. It has been my experience both personally and professionally that many emotional and mental health issues are connected to family of origin experiences with parents, primary caregivers and attachment figures. Unresolved issues from the past are often at the root of anxiety, depression, anger, and recurrent relationship problems in the present. This is an important area of my therapy practice–to help people explore, move through, and resolve old issues and adjust their thinking, beliefs and perspective on life–thus gaining clarity and freedom to be more of who they really are.

Who benefits from family of origin work?

People who benefit from this type of therapy are those who experienced problematic situations in the past that are keeping them from living fulfilling and peaceful lives in the present, such as:

  • Living in and witnessing a volatile, high-conflict family environment
  • Growing up in a home where there was alcoholism or addiction
  • Having parents who were rejecting, neglectful, or dismissing
  • Childhood traumas such as emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
  • Parents had harsh or critical parenting styles
  • Living in a chaotic, fear based environment in childhood

Therapy for Family of Origin

What are the benefits of family of origin work?

Family of origin work in therapy involves exploring the past, understanding how past experiences impacted you emotionally, identifying negative or inaccurate core beliefs you developed about yourself, others and the world – and then letting go or modifying these core beliefs.  Because our core beliefs rooted in old experiences are often responsible for present-day anxiety, depression, anger, and relationship problems–resolving family of origin issues provides significant emotional relief, clarity, perspective, and freedom to change unhealthy patterns of living and coping.  Letting go of old resentments, guilt and shame can be a powerful experience.  Present day relationships are improved.  Melody Beattie states in her book, The Language of Letting Go, “Often, we can learn much about ourselves from the people to whom we are attracted. The more we work through our family of origin issues, the less we will find ourselves needing to work through them with the people we’re attracted to. Finishing our business from the past helps us form new and healthier relationships.”

I am passionate about doing family of origin therapy especially with people who feel stuck and are unable to move forward–where something just out of reach is keeping you from feeling comfortable or happy in your own skin or in a relationship. Most people know instinctively whether their current emotional or psychological issues are rooted in the past. Therapy is like weeding your emotional garden. Merely “changing your mind” or reading a book and gaining insight about family of origin issues is like using a hoe to take the top off a weed. Therapy gets root and all. If you’re considering doing family of origin work, I encourage you to contact us and schedule an appointment. If you live in the Baton Rouge Area, and would like to enter counseling, please call Baton Rouge Counseling at (225) 293-2913.  If you need relationship counseling, check out our Marriage Counseling in Baton Rouge LA.


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