For many of us, family is our number one priority. But that doesn’t always mean that the relationships we maintain with family members are healthy and happy. Individual experiences and past conflicts can have lasting effects on our dynamics with our relatives and other people who are closest to us. When we struggle with personal pain, this can have a negative impact on how the family unit functions. If these issues persist, they can worsen with time — especially if you do not currently possess the tools to improve the situation on your own. But that doesn’t have to be the case; you simply need to know when it’s time to seek out help. And that’s where family therapists can be of assistance. Let’s learn a bit more about this type of therapy and how it could potentially help your family work through unresolved issues.
What does family therapy involve?
At its core, family therapy sessions are meant to address and treat issues that affect a family’s ability to function in a healthy way. Different techniques may be used (and combined) from therapeutic disciplines to work through behavioral and emotional problems, dysfunctional dynamics, or shared trauma. Even though the word “family” is in the name, it’s important to note that this type of therapy can be used to improve close relationships between people who are not necessarily related by blood.
Typically, family therapists will observe interactions between those involved in these sessions, evaluate relationship issues, address negative behavioral patterns, highlight healthy alternatives, help clients through tough transitions, and/or diagnose and treat any mental health issues that may exist. The goal of family therapy is to address and work through emotional, behavioral, and mental challenges– whether they be communication problems or severe psychological trauma — to create a healthy family dynamic.
Who can benefit from family counseling?
There are all kinds of families and unique situations that can be helped with family talk therapy. Families who are grappling with a sudden illness or unexpected death may be helped by this type of therapy. So many families struggling with prolonged unemployment, separation or divorce, mental health issues, substance abuse, behavioral issues in children, new romantic relationships or remarriage, infertility, conflicts between family members, LGBTQ issues, past trauma, and virtually any other factors that negatively affect the family unit.
How can family therapy help me?
No matter what kind of issues are affecting your family, pursuing family counseling can benefit everyone involved. In therapy sessions, your family members will learn to identify their own strengths and struggles; learn how to communicate their feelings in a productive, positive, and honest way; gain a better understanding of relationships between family members and how they can be improved; learn how to resolve issues and truly listen to one another; and improve the strength of the entire family, as well as individual relationships. And considering that working with a licensed family therapist may cost 20% to 40% less than working with a psychiatrist or psychologist, this may even result in reduced financial strain for your family.
Whether your family is struggling with the aftermath of a divorce, unresolved conflicts between siblings, mental health issues, substance abuse, or any number of issues that impact your closest relationships, we’re here to help. For more information, please contact us today.