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Is your family going through a rough patch? Whether the issue stems from a lack of understanding between those involved, sibling conflict, or difficulties with a child, a tough situation can affect the entire family. Family therapy can be helpful when problems arise and can help restore and improve communication.
Some situations that may benefit from family therapy include:
- A family experiencing a loss.
- A family member suffering from substance abuse.
- Parental disagreements and navigating co-parenting during and after separation and divorce.
- Teenagers experiencing behavioral issues, such as angry outbursts.
- Sibling conflict.
- Coping with a child or parent’s mental illness, physical illness, or addiction.
How can family therapy help?
Family therapy can help open lines of communication and can help family members understand each other’s perspectives. This makes it easier to resolve disputes. During the therapy sessions, each member will learn ways to communicate better and develop techniques to de-escalate arguments, while ensuring that everyone is heard. This can also help with parenting problems, such as conflicting parenting styles, rule enforcement and remaining consistent with your child once the rules are established.
How is it accomplished?
Family therapy can be used in addition to individual treatment. The goal is to improve relationships and improve methods of communication and conflict resolution. Families are a unique ecosystem, and issues affecting one member of a family can reverberate and affect the whole unit. Additional benefits of this type of therapy are that, in some instances, the sessions can heal emotional wounds in a short period of time. It’s not uncommon when family therapy is recommended that one family member is identified as the patient and source of the problem. The family comes into therapy in the hope of fixing that family member so as to resolve the family problem. In the process of therapy, what becomes clear is that it is not this individual in isolation who is causing the problem. Each family member plays their own unique role in contributing to the family dynamic that led them to seek family therapy. Once people understand their role, each family member can pivot, take ownership of their behavior and relate to each other differently – helping to foster healthier family relationships.