Family therapy is group psychotherapy treatment for those who have close ties. Family therapists will often meet with family members together and separate to ensure they get each person's unique perspective on the situation. The therapists' goal for these sessions is to improve the family dynamic in difficult situations.
The basis of family therapy is that interaction within a family can be so intense and close, the personalities, beliefs, and experiences of each person in the family. Each member of the family affects the well-being of the family as a whole.
The "designated" patient of the family may be affecting the family dynamic without anyone realizing it, and it may be the entire reason the family is experiencing difficulty at all. Family therapy is now different from the past because now anyone who lives together either as a couple or group with close ties can benefit from family therapy.
The skilled family therapist will lead the family to be able to have healthy interactions with each other based on the teachings of the therapist. This will foster the family's ability to support each other when going through difficult situations rather than fighting.
Why Family Therapy?
There are various reasons people choose to participate in family therapy. Some of the most common happen with one or more members of the family. Some of the reasons include:
- Eating Disorders
- Conflict and communication problems
- Substance abuse or alcoholism
- Illness or bereavement issues
- Depression or mood disorder
- Sexual abuse suffered within or outside of the family
- Behavioral problems at work or school
- Post-traumatic stress
- Marital or couple instability, discord, or sexual dysfunction
- Suicidal ideation or behavior
Family therapy is a valuable tool that works proactively for families. These families often have problems that they think will change the elemental makeup of the family as a whole.
What are the benefits of family therapy?
An essential element from successful family therapy is finding out they can change their family dynamic. The goal is to identify how they can begin to make better choices when interacting with each other. Minor positive adjustments will start to happen, and the overall feel of the family will start to improve by becoming less contentious and more supportive.
Family therapy sessions offer particular benefits that might include assisting the family with:
- Expressing themselves in a non-combative way and listening to each other in a non-judgemental way.
- Holistically focusing on the family dynamic.
- Making everyone feel included and accepted
- Seeing how valuable working together as a team is
- Identify problems as they arrive and promptly develop strategies to help
- Avoid "scapegoating" any family member
- Helping the family let go of dysfunctional roles
Throughout each session, the family members will learn how to be aware of their own individual weaknesses and strengths. They will also learn to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their family members.
Family therapy involves a lot of interaction-based activities. It is a very active type of psychotherapy and is not just “talking.” The assignments the therapist will give the family are to improve the interactions they have with each other.
Completing assignments each week will move them along on their journey to better understanding and communicating with each other over time. The small changes that happen progressively will be positive for the family by helping them bond and build renewed trust in one another, leading to the family becoming more cohesive with each other.
Depending on how dedicated the family is and how severe the problems are, family therapy may require a long or short-term commitment to the process.
Looking for information on family therapy services?
Call 732-724-1234, or go online to fill out our form.