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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How does one move on from a dysfunctional family with children of my own?

    I am planning to start a family in the next few years but I came from a really dysfunctional family and I want to make sure I don't bring those problems into my new family. How do I break the pattern?
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    Naomi Rose


    Naomi Rose is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia & AHPRA and an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has … View Profile

    It’s a very good question that is often asked by many of my clients. In my work as a psychologist and family therapist, I have noticed that one of the great challenges people face who were raised in dysfunctional families is the breaking of Inter-Generational Patterns!!! It is something desired for and so necessary but how does one do it. Read More…. Website. As a family and systemic therapist, I always start with drawing a genogram which is a family map consisting of 2 -3 generations. Sometimes I might draw a focused genogram which shows a pattern of behaviour or symptoms found in 3 generations. Clients are struck by this and say, “I did not realize how divorce has gone on for 3 generations in my family” or alcoholism or domestic violence or abuse.” Before we can ‘move on’ we need to recognise the unhealthy patterns of behaviour that have been transmitted from one generation to another. With the help of therapy, we need to understand the factors/ circumstances that have led to these patterns. Then we need to look at making new decisions, new ways of thinking, breaking old patterns, looking at strengths, protective factors and building resilience. With the help of a skilled therapist, psychoeducation, workshops etc, one can break the inter-generational patterns of one’s family of origin and develop a new legacy of healthy patterns in the best interest of your children. The adage “Where there is a will there is a way”.

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