Therapy for Adult Family Members in Madison, WI

Once we are fully grown and independent, we would like to think the family issues that we struggled with as children and emerging adults don’t matter any more. “Let’s not dwell in the past,” we might think. But the truth is, unresolved family relationship matters follow us into our own choices of partners, our own parenting, and our perceptions of ourselves and others. As children, we internalize the voices and messages from our parents, and sometimes, as part of the process of mastering and managing those messages, it is very useful to sit with the actual live parent in the room. If your mother was unrelentingly critical, if your father was alcoholic, if your brother picked on you relentlessly, feelings and fallout from these experiences do not magically disappear the minute you walk out the front door.

It is a tremendously powerful experience to sit as an adult with a family member — also an adult — to talk through your common history, and to discover what repair and healing can occur. Can we change the past? Of course not. But if we learn to hear each other, to put ourselves in the other’s reality with compassion just for a moment to try to understand, it can ease the loneliness and soften the confusion. Whatever the issues, whatever the configuration of family, our skilled Madison therapists can help you shed new light on your experiences. Armed with new understanding and validation, it eases the way to make the internal changes that can set you free from the tyranny of re-living and re-creating a harmful dynamic in the adult life that you are actively choosing and shaping every day.