Family Conflict

Experiencing occasional conflict is very common, even in the closest of families. Sources of everyday conflict are typically things like miscommunication or misunderstandings. Serious, long-term conflicts can arise from things like substance abuse, financial problems, marital problems, a birth, a job change, or a big move. Whether the source of a families discord is major or minor, ongoing conflict can cause a lot of stress. Allowing conflict to linger and fester can cause lasting damage to familial relationships. If you and your family are experiencing ongoing conflicts, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s family conflict experts today.

Meet the specialists


Family conflict, and family harmony, form the roots of how we engage with all others, either as the discordant interactions that are replayed with friends, neighbors, and coworkers in society, or as the cooperative relationships that we are able to engage in across time, in our community at large. Healing family difficulties at all stages of development is a particularly gratifying endeavor for me, professionally, given the years of benefits that are reaped, not only by the individuals directly involved in therapy, but also by their relatives, classmates, and others enjoying their maturing mastery of healthy communication, respectful confrontation, and growing mutual respect of individual rights and responsibilities. Family therapy is a messy and wondrous process, always so different for each family I have helped, because of the unique mix of each person's personality and needs. I create safe communication, realistic expectations, foster definable goals, and work tirelessly and neutrally.

— Carol Tyler, Psychologist in Bellingham, WA

When working with families, I take a family systems approach, which involves getting the whole family together to identify negative or harmful communication patterns and work to create healthier, more functional relationships. We may practice respectful communication, come up with new ways of interacting, and I will likely give homework to practice between sessions to keep your family communicating during the week.

— Kaleigh Boysen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

I was trained in Strategic Family Therapy. I work well with families who fight/argue a lot due to value/cultural conflicts. I also enjoy working with queer teens in the family system.

— Michelle Chia Ning Chang, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Emeryville, CA

Family conflict impacts everyone in the family; whether it is marital issues, sibling rivalry, school issues, among many other concerns - I can help you navigate these in order to increase the bond you have with your children, improve communication and decrease conflict in your family relationships.

— Corie Rodeman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Crystal Lake, IL

It is getting harder and harder for families these days. The world seems to be spinning everyone apart. The solid foundation is crumbling away. In my Family Therapy sessions, I work closely with parents to create structure, routines, traditions, and rituals that support a healthy family culture and identity. Goals focus on creating positive, connecting experiences for families. So often, families do not know how to take the time to prioritize activities and events that build family cohesion. I give parents and families tools to improve communication, resolve conflicts, solve problems and build trust. Families learn to strengthen attachments and bonding so that children feel secure and confident as they venture out into the world and launch into healthy adult lives.

— S. Abigail McCarrel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arcadia, CA

It's called Family Therapy—but we know that family can include any human you feel connected to. As Family Therapists we are trained to navigate the various relationships represented in the room and to assist each person in finding their voice. Family Therapy is a unique experience, and requires skilled professionals Issues that can be addressed from a Family Therapy perspective include: -Grief/Loss -Illness -Remarriage -Blended families -Life transitions -Resolving past hurts -Accepting a family member’s sexuality -Supporting a family member struggling with sexual identity Our skilled therapists can support you in coming together to find the best ways for your family to relate to each other. Our relaxed atmosphere creates a comfortable place to grow together.

— Refresh Therapy, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Vancouver, WA

Family conflict is one of the most common reasons people enter therapy. Yet, it can be extremely hard to resolve these issues when you have multiple people in a therapy sessions with their own unique feelings, perspectives, and experiences. With my training and experience, I am competent in helping families to resolve conflict, increase communication, and express their feelings in a healthy way.

— Lilyan Moore, Counselor in Portland, OR

I facilitate you, your partner, and/or other family members in identifying and communicating your needs and wants to each other. Conducive to this process is the ability to experience a reasonable degree of conflict in your relationships and the willingness to believe that your relationships can improve. Transitions in families can be difficult. There are specific stages at which couples and families can anticipate major life transitions: marriage, the birth of a child, entering school, graduation (from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, from high school to college), military or something else, and transition into adulthood. These life transitions can make couples and families vulnerable to high levels of stress, which can be taxing on relationships. Blending Families: The transition into a blended family is rarely a smooth process. Some children may resist changes and parents can become frustrated when the new family doesn't function like their previous family. While changes to family structure require adjustment time for everyone involved, sometimes four to seven years, blended families can work out their growing pains and live together successfully.

— Kathy Hardie-Williams, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Tigard, OR

Whether family conflict s the result of a divorce, a struggling marriage, adult siblings fighting, or a blended family one things is often true. There are past hurts and resentments that haven't been worked through. In family conflicts we often sweep things under the rug or never talk about them. We allow conflict to brew until it has gotten so big and overwhelming that we can't handle it anymore. I can help you to address these conflicts in a safe, healthy, positive way. Bringing you restoration in your family relationships.

— Erica London, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Vancouver, WA

Family Therapy is a way to work through life transitions and family conflict, as well as establish family rules and expectations. Having open, honest, conversations can build healthy communication skills and increase positive interactions between kids and parents. Even though we are working through difficult issues, it is also a time for families to connect and have fun together and to remember that they are all on the same team.

— Kristen Felter, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Austin, TX

My experience, both personally and professionally, has led me to believe that having the whole family involved in treatment can create the most positive change. I can help you and your family establish mutually agreed upon goals for treatment and steps to reach them. Through family therapy, clients learn to interact in more authentic and productive ways and often experience a deeper sense of connection and belonging.

— Allison O'Brien, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Atlanta, GA

With relational and systemic training I can help you dismantle family conflict, whether it's still with your own mother or trying to co-parent your kids with a new step-mom.

— Faith Dulin, Marriage & Family Therapist in Charlotte, NC

Back to the basics- the family. We were all raised in one. There are many different family configurations and even more styles of parenting. Come explore the family you grew up in and see how that is influencing the way you are parenting. Would you like to make some changes and need guidance as to how to implement them? Do you need teaching on what to expect for different ages, personalities and situations? Perhaps you thought you had it all under control until that phone call came from the school, or the police, or your daughter just shared that she's pregnant. Maybe you're not even a parent yet and are thinking there's no way you want to have children if "those" people would be the grandparents. Or what if your partner's family hates you or you can't stand them? Is there hope? What if your children are fighting so much you think one might be seriously injured before they'd quit? All of these situations and many more have been worked on in therapy with me, or experience by me. There is hope.

— Michelle Broweleit, Counselor in Vancouver, WA

Family relationships can also be stressful. I can help sort through complicated family issues to restore peace and harmony in the family.

— Raffi Bilek, Counselor in Baltimore, MD

Knowing that our early life experiences in our family of origin provide a framework for how we operate in relationships, Elizabeth is focused on helping clients process and heal from emotional wounds and then identify and break free from long standing patterns that maintain couple distress, and help couples find new ways to connect that promote intimacy and wholeness. The goal of EFT couples therapy is to create a more secure emotional bond that leads to more satisfaction, intimacy and trust.

— Elizabeth Pankey-Warren, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boca Raton, FL

I have worked three years in schools and one year in a family clinic where I saw many families in conflict. Conflict is painful in families and can be exacerbated by acculturation difficulties, special needs children, a weak marital bond, financial problems, etc. I have studied family systems therapies and have a special interest in interpersonal neurobiology.

— Nannette Thomas, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Altos, CA

Family conflict is one of the most common reasons people enter therapy. Yet, it can be extremely hard to resolve these issues when you have multiple people in a therapy sessions with their own unique feelings, perspectives, and experiences. With my training and experience, I am competent in helping families to resolve conflict, increase communication, and express their feelings in a healthy way.

— Lilyan Moore, Counselor in Portland, OR

I am a certified Multidimensional Family Therapist (MDFT) who has 3 years of experience working up close and personal with families experiencing major conflict, violence, drug abuse and law enforcement involvement. I have helped families function better in order to give their children better life outcomes both in and outside of the court system. I have also been trained and certified as an MDFT Supervisor, supervising other therapist in this same treatment.

— Estepha Francisque, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Folsom, CA

I have facilitated scores of one or two session family meetings over the last 35 years. I love working with families and I’m very comfortable including several members in the sessions. I’ve seen up to 7 or 8 family members at one time. I can help each family member identify and clearly and directly communicate what they need for meaningful and effective interactions. Family members often discover in our sessions that early abandonment fears and experiences color their relationships. These messages have been passed down to second and third generations. By recognizing the language of rejection and identifying the cultural patterns that may be connected to rejecting behaviors, we can tame the cycle of negative messages that reverberates through the generations.

— Elayne Savage, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

I was trained with a family systems lens and am always considering complex dynamics as well as intergenerational trauma in my work with all clients- whether you come along with you family or as an individual. I also work with adopted and foster children, teens, and adults. I am an adoptee myself and have specialized training to serve this community from my participation in Portland State University's Foster and Adoption Therapy Certificate Program.

— Emelie Gagliardo, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

One of my specialty areas is working with adult children of narcissistic/abusive parents, which can often be a painful and long-term process that I can personally relate to. I have training in the use of radical acceptance, self-compassion, and psychoanalytic/attachment theory in helping individuals with narcissistic or abusive family members get "unstuck" from unhelpful patterns of thinking, emotions, and behaviors and work on owning their own lives and becoming the person they want to be, rather than the person someone else wants them to be.

— Jason Wu, Psychologist in San Jose, CA

"My child frustrates me so much I don’t want to be around him." "It is like if you give her an inch she will take a mile." "I feel like I have to bribe him in order for him to listen." "Whatever I do it is never good enough for my Dad. I feel like I'm a constant disappointment to him". Does this sound like you? I empower parents to discipline and connect with their children when they display defiant behaviors. I help adult children work through conflicted relationships with their parents.

— Casey Lee, Licensed Professional Counselor in Columbia, SC

We help families get out of negative patterns of communication and get on the same page with things like parenting.

— Thrive Couple & Family Counseling Services, Counselor in Greenwood Village, CO

Learning how to be both attached to people we care about (or at least grew up with) and authentic with genuinely independent thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams is part of the human maturity process. I've learned a lot through study, but an increased amount through my own journey.

— John Loppnow, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in La Canada, CA

This is the starting place for you and your family to approach difficult discussions. We will talk about each family member's understanding of the issue then we will explore your family history and the problem, who has been most and least affected by the problem, repeated patterns and cycles in your family and unsuccessful attempts to fix the problem. We will also look at the different relationships within your family. Teaching effective parenting skills may be a significant part of our work along with teaching effective skills to help manage unwanted behaviors. It's understandable that you and your family may feel uncertain about family therapy. The question is, if you don't start here and start soon, then how much longer will you all have to endure these problems and what are the chances that the issues will be resolved on their own? Let's work together and start resolving your struggles one step at a time.

— Jan Nelson, Social Worker in NEW YORK, NY

I often see conflicts within immigrant families. I have seen clients who are the 1st generation complaining their kids becoming too Americanized and also seen clients who are the 2nd generation blaming their parents for putting unrealistic expectations on them. There is no universal way to "fix" it. I hope therapy can help navigate them to the healthier path.

— Junko Yamauchi, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Clara, CA