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Welcome to Family Therapy!
What is Family Therapy?
Usual goals of family therapy are improving the communication, solving family problems, understanding and handling special family situations, and creating a better functioning home environment.
In couples therapy, clients can expect to explore concepts such as attachment bonds, relationship distress, how to make sense of emotions, relationship dynamics, relationship trauma, parenting, self-care, co-dependency, and ways to express themselves more openly. These skills can help to improve the quality of romantic relationships as well as marriage
Goals are individualized to each families’ needs.
Some of the primary goals of family therapy are to create a better home environment, solve family issues, and understand the unique issues that a family might face.
- Psychoeducation: This type of treatment is centered on helping family members better understand mental health conditions. By knowing more about medications, treatment options, and self-help approaches, family members can function as a cohesive support system.
This type of therapy focuses on creating a safe environment where family members can openly share what they are feeling and get support from their family.
Some therapists may stick with a specific type of family therapy. In contrast, others may take a more eclectic, multimodal approach that incorporates aspects of different types of treatment to suit the needs of the family.
Techniques used in family therapy focus on improving emotional awareness, assisting with major changes within a family, helping people accept things they cannot control, and improving communication and collaboration.
Other specific techniques used in family therapy may include learning to practice empathy, emotional validation, reflective listening, and cognitive reframing.
- Family therapy can help people with many different issues. Some of these include:
- Behavioral problems in children or teens
- Changes within the family
- Communication problems
- Death of loved one
- Divorce, separation, or marital problems
- Parent-child conflicts
- Problems between siblings
- Parenting issues
- Stressful events or major life transitions
- Benefits of Family Therapy
Because this form of treatment addresses communication, family members can learn how to better share their thoughts and needs and resolve conflicts in a way that is less likely to damage relationships.2
This type of therapy also focuses on how family members can address an individual family member’s difficulties. For example, if one family member has a mental health condition, family therapy can help alter some conditions that sometimes contribute to the problem.
- When individuals are affected by mental illness, family members may sometimes lack awareness of how to help. As a result, they may engage in behaviors that maintain or even worsen aspects of the illness.1 Family therapy can help members of the family learn more about what they can do to support their family member who has a mental disorder while preserving their own mental well-being.
- You can also search the online directory at the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website.