Family of Origin Issues

family of origin

Growing up, did you feel unloved, rejected, lonely, unsafe, or inadequate in your family environment?  Did you grow up in a biological or adoptive family where:

  • your parents were critical, or their expectations were unrealistically high?
  • you witnessed or were subjected to domestic violence?
  • you experienced childhood abuse (physical, emotional, mental, verbal, or sexual abuse) and/or neglect?  (Abuse can include parents who were overly strict, controlling, too protective, or over-indulgent).
  • one parent (or both) was alcohol or drug dependent?
  • you lost a parent through death or you had an ‘absent’ parent?
  • your parents divorced and/or you grew up in a step-family?
  • you had a mentally ill parent?
  • you blamed yourself for the family problems and/or felt shame?
  • you were placed in a role of meeting your parents’ needs?

Psychological Treatment for Family of Origin Issues

The family in which we grow up has a major influence on our development.  Being raised in a family environment where you lived through many of the above situations can affect your adult life.  Some long term effects can include:

  • difficulty identifying, managing or expressing your emotions
  • a fear of confrontation
  • feeling insecure
  • a fear of failure or a fear of success
  • low self esteem
  • poor self worth, shame, or feelings of guilt
  • difficulty in your interpersonal relationships such as:  a lack of trust in people or trusting the wrong people, fear of intimacy or fear of rejection, abandonment issues, separation anxiety, or forming abusive, depriving, or dependent relationships
  • depression or anxiety
  • post-traumatic stress
  • engaging in self-harming or sabotaging behaviours
  • using alcohol or drugs to ‘manage’ painful and distressing feelings

As a psychologist with extensive experience in working with family of origin issues, I can help you to reduce or overcome the adverse effects of your upbringing, and work with you towards becoming a happier and more fulfilled individual.

I provide psychological therapy in a safe, supportive and caring environment, utilising a range of evidence-based therapeutic interventions tailored to suit your specific needs.  I use an integrative approach and draw on therapy models such as cognitive behaviour therapy (cbt) and interpersonal therapy (amongst others).

Benefits of Psychological Treatment for Family of Origin Issues

I can help you to:

  • Gain a better understanding of why you behave in specific ways, make particular choices, hold particular beliefs, and experience certain emotions.
  • Process emotions and trauma associated with childhood abuse and/or neglect.
  • Grieve the losses associated with what you wanted and did not receive growing up.
  • Change negative or faulty beliefs and feelings.
  • Overcome self-destructive or negative patterns of behaviour.
  • Improve your self esteem and self worth, and feel more secure within yourself.
  • Strengthen your personal boundaries and coping skills.
  • Improve your communication skills, and form more satisfying and healthier relationships
  • Come to terms with your past and unresolved trauma.

How we can help

Psychological Treatment

  • become a happier person, no longer constrained by your upbringing and the past
  • improve self-understanding and enhance self-awareness
  • process emotions and trauma of childhood abuse or neglect, and reduce level of distress
  • break the cycle of self-destructive and negative patterns of behaviour
  • improve your self esteem and confidence
  • grieve the losses around what you missed out on growing up
  • overcome the negative effects of your family upbringing

Call 0409 415 323

Penny Janis –  Family of Origin Psychologist

Contact me to begin your journey to a more satisfying and fulfilling life, free from the constraints of your upbringing and the past.