Family Balance During Transitions

Graduation and Family

This month as parents of seniors and parents of children returning to college prepare for their children to live effectively outside the home it is important to remember that Individual growth, unique perceptions and importance autonomy are a few ways to live with the balance of personal independence and dependence in family relationships. Parents need to balance that children feel they are living with others as an individual who supports the system and the “family exists to provide growth nurturance, and support for the individual self-actualization” (Yarhouse & Sells, 2017, p. 197). Each member of the group knows they are an individual but related to everyone in the family and will be offered the safety, honesty, and acceptance so there does not have to be choice between independence or dependence. 

The ability of the family to maintain strong relationships and positive experiences within the family but also give individuals the freedom for growth individualism will provide a foundation for individual development. It is the family’s responsibility to ensure each person has an opportunity to develop a personality and identity of their own. It is important that independence is a result of a connection with the family and having one’s own thoughts and feelings but also an awareness that dependence is a result of relationships with others. According to Yarhouse & Sells (2017) “identifying emotional suppression as the root of all human/family problems”. This suggests that without communication centered on honesty, emotions, and acceptance the family will become dysfunctional. Dependence on a family with problems created by the suppression of emotions and feelings could have the potential to push an individual toward personal independence because of unhealthy relationships (Yarhouse & Sells, 2017). 

The family should be a source of support that provides the safety of a familiar place where individualism is fostered. Individuals can experience independence and be assured that the family relationships will be stable.  The individual does not take precedence over the family and the family does not inhibit the induvial. Both the independent person and the dependent family unit work in combination to create a balance between the individual and the group. 

Yarhouse, M. A., & Sells, J. N. (2017). Family Therapies: A comprehensive Christian Appraisal (2nd ed.). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

I am currently a Master’s degree Intern from the Crown College counseling program and have  completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Cloud State University. I am most influenced by mindfulness-based interventions and believe in utilizing an integrative approach to therapy, combining different therapeutic approaches to meet the unique needs of each client. I work from a collaborative approach assisting and supporting clients. I believe that the therapy process should help guide people to an increase self-awareness, gain new perspectives, decrease symptoms, and increase personal strengths. I enjoy helping people who seek counseling to have more meaningful experiences in life. My interests include working with adolescents  and adults age 15 and older who are experiencing:

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