top of page
Toxic Family

Toxic Family

A toxic family is a rearing environment wrought with endemic, injurious, manipulative or dysfunctional interactional patterns that can lead to the emotional, psychological, physical and/or spiritual abuse of its members.

Raised in such a family, traumatic and painful experiences, beliefs, betrayals, repeated incidents of being gaslighted and manipulated can become a running theme of one’s mind scripts, directly influencing the way an individual relates to others. One can feel confused and isolated.

Symptoms of being in a toxic family dynamic are multifaceted:

  • Experiencing the sense of constantly walking on eggshells, constantly fearing upsetting family members.

  • Suffering from feelings of guilt, shame or misplaced responsibility for family dysfunction that are present across many other aspects of life.

  • Feeling unable to express your true self authentically within the family setting. Forced to hide your true feelings and thoughts for fear of shaming or punishment.

  • Treated to daily messages of scorn or humiliation by family members, leading to a gradual corrosion of self-worth and self-confidence.

The causes of a toxic family environment can stem from various origins: Abuse, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, perpetuated within the family structure. Neglect, where essential needs for care, support, or emotional nourishment are consistently unmet. Substance abuse or addiction issues, amplifying dysfunction and instability within the family unit. Mental health disorders among family members, exacerbating tensions and impairing healthy interaction.

Deep dysfunction, including breakdowns in communication and problem-solving skills between members of the family. When it comes to treatment, therapy emerges as the cornerstone for healing and recovery: It’s a place where individuals can process the meaning of their own families, where difficult truths can be taken in and worked through without external pressure. In therapy, people learn how to build up old and new resources to manage the effects of toxic family life.

Establishment of boundaries is an ongoing aspect of therapy that helps people to ‘self-protect’. Better communication skills learned in treatment may improve relationships across various domains, whether family, work or school.

Building a support network beyond the toxic parental network is a key element of healing: we look forward to working with more kids to help them recover from the emotional wounds that can arise from growing up in a family filled with love and hate.

Surrounding oneself with supportive friends and non-toxic family members can provide invaluable emotional reinforcement.

For those who can’t escape a toxic family, it’s essential to seek out a good therapist with expertise in healing the symptoms of toxic families. 

At Global Therapy Inc., our compassionate team of therapists is equipped with the knowledge and skill to help you recover from the damage of toxic family experiences. Book an appointment today.

bottom of page