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Family Therapy

A family is a system comprised of subsystems, parental and child.  The system is a unit with  roles, rules, and boundaries that keep it "balanced."  Family systems are not all the same. A family may be simple (i.e., single parental subsystem) or  complex (i.e., two parental subsystems- as in the case of divorce and blended marriages).  Either way, the relationship within the family relies on interactional feedback loops that  define expected behavior and maintain the overall balanced state, whether positive or negative.   Everything and everyone matters in a family system! A SINGLE change to an individual's behavior and/or role changes the WHOLE.  This change often  "unbalances" the system and causes conflict/dissonance.       


Blended Families

A blended family is a family system that shares a child subsystem from a previous marriage or relationship.  The family system may include a child or children from one or both of the partners and also may include a child born to the parental subsystem within the new system.   In essence, the blended family may have multiple child subsystems between the two partners. 


Traditional Families

A traditional family system is best described as a unit that has a two biological parents (parental subsystem) with child(ren).  The child subsystem may be biological or adopted.  


Single Parent Families

Single-parent families are those that the parental unit or subsystem consist of only one parent.  The child subsystem may include one or more children from a single and/or multiple relationships.  The parent has joint or dominant responsibility for raising the child subsystem(s).  

"...hurting behaviors in a family environment are conditional love, self-centeredness, perfectionism, faultfinding, efforts to control others, unreliability, denial of feelings, and lack of communication...In hurting families, each individual is affected on the personal level."   Balswick and Balswick, The Family (p.33) 


Suicide Prevention Resources:   



National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

National Institute of Mental Health:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention:

US Department of Veteran Affairs:

OLOL Emergency:  (225) 271-6000

Baton Rouge Intervention Center: (225) 924-3900

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:  (available 24/7)  1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.  Press 1 to talk to someone.

National Hopeline Network:  (available 24/7)  1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-784-2433


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