Traditional families exist less and less. Today, we are a mix of blended families, single parent families, LGBT parented families, and/or families with mixed ethnic or religious backgrounds. Family therapy is a great benefit to those families who struggle with the interpersonal family dynamics, and the values and beliefs of individual family members.
Family therapy can also be useful before problems begin. Some families seek this type of therapy when they anticipate a major change in their lives. For example, a man and woman who both have children from previous marriages may go to family therapy when they marry to help all family members learn how to live together.
The concepts of family therapy can also be used in individual therapy sessions and are very helpful for people who come from families in which there is illness and/or other problems. Adults who lived in poorly functioning families as children may benefit from individual therapy also using family therapy concepts.
Family therapy is based on the premise that each family is a unique social system with its own structure and patterns of communication. These patterns are determined by many things, including the parents’ beliefs and values stemming from their respective family of origins, the personalities of all family members, and the influence of the extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles). As a result of these variables, each family develops its own unique personality, family rules and messages, which is powerful and affects all of its members.
Benefits of family therapy:
- Increase respect
- Face and overcome family challenges
- Communicate effectively
- Decrease conflict
- Heal from the effects of addiction and violence
- Eliminate destructive anger
- Balance work and family life
- Create a sense of purpose in each other’s lives
- Heal through divorce or separation
- Family restructuring due to remarriage
When to seek help:
- Family members are not getting along
- Addiction or violence is present
- Your time together is missing pleasure and comfort
- You are not feeling appreciated or understood
- You want to run away
- Your family is going through divorce, separation or remarriage
During therapy sessions, the family’s strengths are used to help them handle their problems. All members take responsibility for problems. Some family members may need to change their behavior more than others.
Family therapy is a very active type of therapy, and family members are often given assignments. For example, parents may be asked to delegate more responsibilities to their children, or an assignment such as temperature reading is given or appreciation sharing.
The number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy. The family and the therapist set mutual goals and discuss the length of time expected to achieve the goals.
Contact me for more information on rates, session times and to schedule an appointment.