What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is designed to address specific issues that affect the psychological health of the family, such as major life transitions or mental health conditions. It may be used as the primary mode of treatment or as a complementary approach.
The Benefits of Family Therapy
Families can benefit from therapy when they experience any stressful event that may strain family relationships, such as financial hardship, divorce, or the death of a loved one. In addition, it can be effective in treating mental health concerns that impact the family as a whole, such as depression, substance abuse, chronic illness, and food issues, or everyday concerns, like communication problems, interpersonal conflict, or behavioral problems in children and adolescents.
Family counseling aims to promote understanding and collaboration among family members in order to solve the problems of one or more individuals. For example, if a child is having social and academic problems, therapy will focus on the family patterns that may contribute to the child’s acting out, rather than evaluating the child’s behavior alone. As the family uncovers the source of the problem, they can learn to support the child and other family members and work proactively on minimizing or altering the conditions that contribute to the child’s unwanted behavior.
Family therapy can be helpful on many levels. A good course of family therapy helps:
- Develops and maintains healthy boundaries
- Fosters cohesion and communication among family members
- Promotes problem solving through understanding of family patterns and dynamics
- Builds empathy and understanding
- Reduces family conflict
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