The ways that family members interact with one another are commonly referred to as family dynamics. They are heavily influenced by culture, traditions, family history, learned skills, emotions, and the roles and hierarchy within a family … When families are close, “a person [can enjoy] better health and well-being, as well as lower rates of depression and disease throughout a lifetime.” However, even close families can experience complicated family dynamics that create tension, introduce rivalries, and threaten stability.

This article looks at different aspects of family dynamics and family compositions. It will explore some of the characteristics of healthy family dynamics and contrast these with behaviours considered damaging and toxic. Finally, we’ll consider ways to learn how to navigate the complexities of family life and touch on what someone can do if they think their family could use some help.

On behalf of your Nova Scotia Lawyers Assistance Program (NSLAP) provider, Homewood HealthTM is pleased to provide the following newsletter “Understanding Family Dynamics

If you have wellness questions, or are looking for wellness information, visit the NSLAP website at For more information and support, along with resources and counselling in understanding family dynamics, register with Homewood Health™ Please note that NSLAP is your “company” name when you register.

Call in confidence, 24 hours a day: 1 866 299 1299 (within Nova Scotia) | (See the website for details about calling from outside Nova Scotia) | 1 866 398 9505 (en français) | 1 888 384 1152 (TTY).