Hurt travels through families like ripples in a pond. A hurtful event happens. It may come in the form of abuse that is physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal. It may come in the form of misfortune financially, or physically. It may come in the form of death loss, or abandonment. However it chooses to come it comes nonetheless. It may feel like a stone being thrown into the heart of a family. Like a huge plunging of a rock into the still waters of a pond.  


A first ripple forms in the pond. It represents hurt reverberating into the life of the family it befell. The event hurts so bad the family only knows to cover up what happened and hide from the pain. Sometimes they split up feeling as if they are not loveable and cannot offer love to one another. There is oppression, and emotional destruction. The pain sets in, lives, and goes unhealed.


The hurt continues to reverberate through the water and a second ripple forms in the pond. This time it touches the next generation, the families of the children. This new generation cares for the hurt, but they don’t tell anybody. They live in shame of it, fearing others will think they must have deserved the hurt. They do all they can to correct the hurt on their own. This is not enough. The hurt is too big, it lives on.


As the hurt continues to travel a third ripple forms in the pond. It represents hurt carrying through into the next generation, the families of the grandchildren. While the hurt still exists, it is losing strength. The shame that lived before begins to wane. The grandchildren’s families find ways to relieve the pain, by facing the pain, by knowing the pain, by finding meaning in the suffering collectively.


The hurt continues to ripple through the generations of the family until finally the life of it loses strength. Being seen, being known, it loses its ability to form ripples. The family finds release from pain, shame, and suffering. The waters once again become still.  


The work of family therapy begins by finding the stone that is thrown, by finding the abuse, the misfortune, the loss. We come to know its pain, understand its life, and together we help the oppression and the hurt flow away from and out of your lives.


This work does not have to be faced alone. There is solace and safety awaiting you on this journey.


Ara O’Hayre