Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels believed that the family should be abolished.

If one speaks to people who grew up in communism they will tell you that their experience was that the communists were against the family. Kitchens of flats built in communist times were deliberately built so small that they would be difficult to use in a satisfactory way. The idea was to organise life in such a way as to prevent  natural family cohesion.

But the desire to have a healthy family is very strong and cannot be so easily eradicated.

So, we may ask: what is a family? What is its purpose? Certainly, if it is healthy, it may be an infinite source of joy and strength. It seems to be something archetypal. However there are many factors in our modern life that distort, burden and traumatise the value and the joy that comes from family cohesion.

These may be one or more of the following:

– Boundary issues and violations between family members

– Lack of understanding where community ends and where the individual begins.

– Mixed-up roles.

– Increasing differences between the value systems and expectations of different generations.

– Increasing tensions between different cultural or religious backgrounds, (becoming ever more challenging with  increasing immigration).

– ‘Patchwork families’. (caused by separation or divorce etc.)