What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of therapy that brings parents and other family members into the treatment process. Instead of focusing solely on an individual, family therapy takes into account the family structure as a whole. Treatment can include siblings and even extended family members like aunts, uncles and grandparents. Each family is unique and has its own personality, so a licensed professional can help identify conflicts, strengthen family bonds and resolve issues.
Who is Family Therapy For?
Family therapy can be effective treatment for a number of issues. Here are a few situations where a family may benefit from treatment:
– Parent-child conflicts
– Preparing for a major life change (childbirth; divorce)
– A family member’s mental illness (depression; addiction)
The Benefits of Family Therapy
Successful family therapy has a number of positive effects on the entire family unit as well as individual members.
– Better communication skills
– Improved conflict resolution strategies
– Increased understanding of familial roles
– Overall stronger relationships
What to Expect
With the help of your therapist, you and your family will identify the root issue and create strategies to resolve these conflicts. Your therapist will provide a safe, comfortable environment to be open about problems and issues surrounding the family. Not all family members will be present at every session.
Typically, family members are each given assignments as part of the treatment. For example, a parent may be asked to delegate more responsibilities to a child. Your therapist will evaluable the family and determine the best course of action to effect positive change.
Family therapy has not only been shown to help relationship problems, but mental health issues as well. Substance abuse problems as well as eating disorders have been shown to improve through the use of family therapy.