By Vanessa Gonzalez
As humans, we are bound to have relational issues. As a result, many seek counseling to better themselves or improve their relationship with their romantic partner. However, a significant type of therapy that many may overlook is family therapy.
Families are complex. Family therapy can help family members work through a conflict and learn to communicate. Now, this doesn’t mean that conflict will never happen again. It simply means that family members will learn how to work through the conflict with one another more effectively.
If you notice that your family issues are not resolved and are becoming more significant, it might be time to seek family counseling services.
What is Family Therapy?
Overall, family therapy is designed to help with issues that affect families’ functioning. It can help each member improve relationships, manage conflicts, and improve communication as long as each member is willing to put in the work to do so.
When beginning family therapy, the counselor will explain what to expect to each member attending counseling. They will inquire about the root of the issues and each member’s perspectives on the problems at hand. They will also review how each member has contributed to trying to remedy the issues thus far.
From there, the family and the therapist will collaborate to develop a treatment plan. Again, this ensures no specific blame towards one person and that everyone is responsible for fixing the issue.
On average, counseling can be around 12 sessions. It depends on the families’ needs to determine how many sessions are necessary. While family therapy won’t fix every issue for each individual, each person can learn new skills to manage interpersonal conflict. It’s recommended that individuals take their own therapy separate from the family therapy session if needed.
What Issues Can Family Therapy Address?
Some issues are:
· Family conflict
· Sibling difficulties
· Shared child custody during separation
· Substance Use
· Major life transitions
· Financial disagreements
· Child behavioral issues
· Child educational problems
· Parent-child conflicts
· Caretaking for a family member with disabilities
Types of family therapy
Some types of family therapy are:
· Family systems therapy focuses on each person’s strengths in the relationship to overcome issues.
· Narrative family therapy: Each person tells their own story or narrative so the family can see things more objectively rather than through their own perspective.
· Functional family therapy: This is a short-term treatment. Typically for individuals with risky behavior or substance use. It helps build trust between family members and find solutions
· Psychoeducation: Best used for a family with an individual with mental health conditions. This can provide the family with information about treatment options to better work as a cohesive uni
It is important to be aware that family therapy is a big step, and at first, it may cause more issues as each person becomes more vulnerable. However, for it to be effective, all members need to be willing to be actively involved in the process. The work is up to everyone.