The human family is the biological unit designated by nature to sustain the human being. Family units vary in size and structure. In a family each person learns to relate to others, to cope with and solve the problems of living. These abilities are learned in the context of family relationships.

A deeply rooted, automatic and instinctual emotional system governs life processes. The emotional system influences how individuals function in relationships. Consequently, the emotional system often dictates the quality and success of an individual's life.

When life experiences are threatening, a frequent response is anxiety. With high anxiety, problem solving is more automatically driven by the emotional system. All family members are susceptible to anxiety and can be vulnerable to emotional difficulties.