• Family dynamics is the term used for the way that families communicate and exist together. Every family has a distinct pattern of relating to one another, which can be positive or negative.


    Family dynamics are influenced by family structure, for example, how many children are in the family, whether one or two parents live in the home, whether or not there is a stepparent in the family, cultural background and the personalities of each member. All of these examples contribute to the influence of family dynamics.


    Dysfunction, unfortunately, plays a common role in the family system. Dysfunction, such as verbal or physical abuse, is often something that is passed from parents to children, who then grow up to pass it onto their children. Dysfunction in the family can upset the family dynamics and affect the way that children view relationships later in life if the problem is not resolved.


    Each member of a family plays a significant role in the family dynamics, and if a death or divorce occurs, the family structure is upset, which upsets family dynamics. People might blame one another or rely on a different family member more than before, which shifts the structure.


    Sometimes a family member decides that he or she doesn't like their role and decides to change their role in the family. This can upset family dynamics; however, if a family member is trying to make a positive change, it is important for the family to support the change as family dynamics are influential and can leave permanent scars on individuals.


    Family therapists meet with families and learn how their family dynamic works and how it can be improved. When there is poor communication in a family or other negative aspect, a family therapist can help the family begin relating to each other in more positive ways, which improves family dynamics.

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