Find a therapist, not a social worker who specializes in your area and do your work first
1. Interview several therapists with medical degrees who specialize in the problems you want to solve in your own life. None of the other steps work without this one.
2. Stop trying to heal your family.
This is called enmeshment, when you believe it's your job to tell people what's wrong with them and try to fix them. This is also a form of avoidance. You're avoiding working on you by working on them. The only thing you can change is you. The only problem you can reframe are yours.
3. Identify your triggers and each family member's triggers and avoid them.
Is is alcohol, drugs? What is the single element that's always present when someone goes off the handle? Do they have too much access to you? Change your phone number, unfriend them on social media and limit contact to a 10 minute monthly check-in call.
Set physical and time limits that are self-protective
4. Stay in a nice hotel or AirBnB when you visit and limit visits to long weekends and 10 minute calls. Stay friendly, warm which is easy because you're learning in therapy not to blame them, but set boundaries that protect you and your heart.
Learn how to gently draw boundaries.
5. Let a family member know (without attaching guilt or blame) when something being said doesn't work for you. When they do it again, tell them you'll be leaving the call or the ending the visit if the behavior continues and then follow through. Just do it. And do it every time it happens.
is a Tony-winning producer/writer/actor & CEO of TheDreamUnLocked: Boutique Coaching for Actors, Writers & Dreamers