Family composition varies from one household to the next. Some consider their family to be made up of those individuals whom they share a home with. Others define family to be a group of extended relatives or even close friends whom they have a significant connection to. Some families include children, and parental figures may vary from birth parents, step-parents, or older siblings or relatives. No matter who we include in our family, we know these relationships are special and require much care and attention.
Family relationships can be challenging, especially during times of life transitions. When attachment, bonding or communication disruptions arise within a family, introducing creative and expressive processes can be beneficial in identifying, processing and reorganizing family dynamics. Creative arts therapies allow families to explore individual and group norms through direct and indirect metaphoric processes, which enable individual members of a family to gain insight and perspective from the other family members.
Family therapy approaches using the creative arts focus on improving communication where therapists and the arts serve as the connectors between family members, providing an alternative means of self-expression. Families may be encouraged to work together on a joint project where they can appreciate each other’s contributions and talents. Familiar patterns of communication and interaction can be explored and new processes of relating can be discovered through creative arts therapy.
Family Relationship and Problems
From the DSM-5:
The term parent is used to refer to one of the child’s primary caregivers, who may be biological, adoptive, or foster parent or may be another relative (such as a grandparent) who fulfills a parental role for the child… Typically, the parent-child relational problem is associated with impaired functioning in behavioral, cognitive, or affective domains.
Sibling Relationship and Problems
From the DSM-5:
This category should be used when the focus of clinical attention is a pattern of interaction among siblings that is associated with significant impairment in individual or family functioning or with development of symptoms in one or more of the siblings, or when a sibling relational problem is affecting the course, prognosis, or treatment of a sibling’s mental or other medical disorder.
Raised by Other Adults
From the DSM-5:
This category should be used when the main focus of clinical attention pertains to issues regarding a child being raised away from the parents or when this separate upbringing affects the course, prognosis, or treatment of a mental or other medical disorder. The child could one who is under state custody and placed in kin care or foster care. The child could also be one who is living in a nonparental relative’s home, or with friends, but whose out-of-home placement is not mandated or sanctioned by the courts.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Other Conditions That May Be a Focus of Clinical Attention (715-716). Arlington, VA, American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
Disclaimer: Due to the nature of this post, this information is meant to be informative and not serve as a solution for family-related issues. If you believe you need help in terms of you family dynamics, please seek out a doctor or professional for a proper diagnosis.