Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that works with families and couples to nurture change and development, usually through the ways family members interact. Family therapy is also referred to as couple and family therapy, marriage and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling.
In most cases, family therapy is provided by licensed marriage and family therapists or counselors, psychologists, or clinical social worker. Sessions may include all family members, extended family members, or just a few individuals. This type of therapy is usually short-term, but the specific length and treatment plan will depend on your specific situation and needs.
What is family counseling for?
Families are made up of individuals, each with their own opinions, needs, and flaws. As a result, every family experiences periods of conflict or tension. When left unresolved, these issues can grow and worsen, leading to stress, anxiety, or depression for one or more family members.
There are many reasons why family therapy or counseling may be recommended, such as:
● Anger and conflict between parents, children, or other family members
● Experiencing grief and loss
● Coping with serious health issues, either physical or psychological
● Substance abuse
● Marital difficulties
● Financial struggles
● Significant changes in family dynamics, such as adoption or remarriage
● Contemplating separation or divorce
● Navigating custody concerns
Therapy sessions can teach family members helpful skills to strengthen connections, prepare for significant changes, get through difficult periods, resolve conflict, and improve communication. Family therapy will help you understand how your family functions, identify the strong and weak points of your family system, and set goals for your family and how to work toward them.
Family counseling may be used on its own, but it can also be combined with other types of mindcare or specialized treatment. A combined approach is especially helpful for complex issues such as addiction and eating disorders.
In some cases, families can benefit from counseling and therapy before issues arise. This is especially helpful if the family is already preparing for a significant change, such as:
● Moving to a different country or part of the country
● Birth or adoption of a new child into the family
● Changing jobs or schools