Therapy for the Disorganized Family

Marcia Hesselgrave


Therapy for the Disorganized Family

Disorganized family systems are most often described as a family that has significant problems with their ability to communicate, allow emotional expression, and be effective problem-solvers.


Disorganized families often experience higher occurrences of conflict.  


And as a result, members often have difficulty forming healthy relationships with each other.

Characteristics of Disorganized Families

Communication problems

In a disorganized family, communication may be lacking or undesirable. Members may not express their thoughts and feelings openly, or they may use passive-aggressive behaviors to communicate their needs. Isolation and alienation are a result of difficulties with communication.

Role reversals

In a disorganized family, members may struggle to understand their roles and responsibilities. Individual boundaries are blurred; family members may be too involved or uninvolved in each other’s lives. This can lead to confusion, resentment, and conflicts.


In some  families, the environment may be unpredictable, with members experiencing mood swings, outbursts of anger, or sudden changes in plans. Such an atmosphere leads to worry and unrealistic expectations among family members which causes turmoil and chaos.

Neglect or Abuse

In extreme cases,  disorganized families may experience neglect or abuse, which can lead to long-term emotional and psychological problems for members.

    • Treatment for disorganized families may involve family therapy, individual therapy, or a combination of both. 
    • Family therapy can help improve communication and problem-solving skills within the family unit. It can also help members identify patterns of behavior that contribute to dysfunction and learn healthier ways of interacting with each other. 
    • Individual therapy can be helpful for family members who need to work through their own emotional and psychological issues related to their family history. 
    • If you or a loved one’s quality of life is impacted by a dysfunctional family dynamic, it’s important that you seek help from a qualified mental health professional who has experience working with families. 
    • Marcia Hesselgrave is an experienced therapist serving the Cuyahoga and Lorain County areas and the Northwest suburbs of Cleveland as an expert in helping patients break free from troublesome family dynamics,  healing from trauma, and mood disorders, improving relationships, and improving life balance. Marcia’s office is located in Westlake Ohio. 

Would you like help reducing work-related stress, breaking free from dysfunctional family dynamics,  healing from trauma, and mood disorders, improving relationships, and improving life balance?


I’m Here To Help – Call Me At