Healing in the Family

Abstract by David Sedlacek

There are multiple reasons for the dysfunction and brokenness in today’s families. Therefore, healing in today’s families requires a multifaceted approach. First, we need to examine the trauma that children experience in their families. Unprocessed trauma is brought into marriages and churches with negative effects. Healing in families begins with acknowledging that there is a problem and developing a willingness to change. Healing interventions can include education about healthy communication and conflict resolution which often accompany trauma. Persons who are well-differentiated and have a solid, positive self-identity bring that into their marriages and pass it on to their families. Emotional and relational healing begins with dealing with one’s own trauma. Trauma interventions are designed to integrate both the right (affective) and left (cognitive) hemispheres of the brain. The right brain is damaged by trauma that leads to a person being easily triggered by anxiety leading to either emotional dysregulation or withdrawal as survival mechanisms. The emotional healing of individuals, especially the parents, will lead to healthier interactions between the husband and wife and a healthier environment for the children. Putting God at the center of the healing journey has the potential to draw families together in love (1 John 4:7–10) and to minimize the unhealthy anxiety (1 John 4:18) that comes when there is inadequate secure attachment experienced in families.