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What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy or counseling that focuses on treatment for specific behavior patterns that negatively impact families. It can help everyone in the family including children and teenagers effectively manage psychological problems, build stronger relationships, improve communication, work through individual differences, and create a healthy family atmosphere where individuals can thrive.

Types of Family Therapy

Below are the types of family therapy:

  • Family Systems Therapy:  This therapy focuses on realizing and utilizing the strength of the family relationships to deal with mental health problems of the individual family members. 
  • Functional Family Therapy:  This therapy addresses teens and youth problems such as substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors. It is a short-term and effective treatment that helps individuals understand themselves and help them to develop trust and respect for others in the family.
  • Narrative Family Therapy: This therapy helps individuals know their strengths and weaknesses by narrating the story of their own experiences and understanding how it affects their lives. By working with narrative therapy, individuals eventually learn to view issues from a much broader perspective. 
  • Psychoeducation: This treatment focuses on providing awareness and knowledge of mental health conditions so that family members can play an effective role in helping a patient to overcome their problems.
  • Supportive Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on developing a sense of trust and belonging among family members. It allows them to openly talk and share their feelings to get support from their family members.

Family Therapy Techniques

The most commonly employed family therapy techniques are

  • Behavioral Techniques: This technique mainly focuses on education and skills training to help address specific concerns.  It may involve modeling and role-playing to resolve communication issues and other problems. 
  • Structural Techniques: This approach is to help family members to establish healthy boundaries and routines to improve family function.
  • Systemic Techniques: This approach studies the unconscious communications and meanings behind family behaviors. The therapy helps the family to discover deeper issues and problems and the best way to deal with them.
  • Psychodynamic Techniques: The therapist studies the behavioral pattern of each individual of the family in response to certain problems. It helps patients get better insight into their behavior.

Why is Family Therapy done?

Family therapy can help you to overcome psychological issues including:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Psychological problems 
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Communication problems
  • Financial issues
  • Grieving
  • Marital conflicts
  • Troubled social relationships
  • Addiction

What Happens During Family Therapy?

The following steps may occur during course of family therapy:

  • Your therapist talks to every family member to improve their understanding of the important issues that need to be addressed. Each individual may be given a set of questions to answer which sheds light on how that person views the situation.
  • Your therapist then develops a treatment plan to resolve the issues without fault finding or blaming anyone.
  • Your therapist works to create a safe and comfortable setting that encourages you to communicate with each other and work together to find a new approaches to solve the problems. 
  • The number of therapy sessions varies depending on the issues and persons involved.

Benefits of Family Therapy

Family therapy has proven to be a practical and systematic approach to resolving family issues. The benefits include:

  • Better understanding of family problems
  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Better communication and interpretation skills
  • More profound empathy for family members
  • Stronger family connections
  • Awareness and education of mental health
  • Better stress and anger management skill