Family Therapy

1 What is a Family Therapy?

A type of psychological counseling or psychotherapy that can help a family to resolve conflicts and improve communication is called family therapy.

A psychologist, licensed therapist or clinical social worker is usually the one who provides this.

These therapists have graduated or had post graduate degrees and may be credentialed by the American Association for marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

The plan in this family therapy will depend on the family’s situation and this may include all family members or just those who are willing to participate.

This is often a short term and the sessions will deepen your connections to each other and will help you get through problems and stressful times.

2 Reasons for Procedure

There are many reasons to decide to undergo a family therapy, including:

Troubled relationship with your kids, spouse or other family members can be improved by doing family therapy.

You may discuss issues such as financial problems, marital problems, the conflict between the kids and parents, substance abuse or even mental illness.

This therapy can be done along with other mental health treatment especially if one of the family members has an addiction or mental illness.

For example: if there is a family member who is an addict, he may participate even if he has not yet sought out his own treatment or he can participate in residential treatment.

If one of the family members has a mental illness such as schizophrenia, he may continue his own treatment plan that includes medications, one-on-one counseling or another treatment plan.

This therapy can help you and the family members to understand each other well and to help in a family situation that can cause grief, stress, conflict or anger. This may also bring you closer together.

3 Potential Risks

Some of the potential risks for a family therapy include:

  • this can make some problems worse if not guided appropriately by a well-trained counselor
  • this may be less effective if a family member does not want to participate
  • this may not sufficiently resolve issues if it will be stopped soon

4 Preparing for your Procedure

To prepare for the family therapy consult your doctor and he may refer you to a therapist.

Your family and friends, health insurance company, clergy, employee assistance program, local and state mental health agencies may also give you recommendations.

Consider these factors whether the therapist is a good fit for your family:

  • education and experience – the educational and training background of the therapist, if he is licensed by the state if he is accredited by the AAMFT, if he has a specialty training in gamely psychotherapy
  • location and availability - the location of his office and his office hours and if he is available in case of emergency
  • length and number of sessions – you can ask how long each session will last, how often your sessions will be scheduled and how many sessions you will have
  • fees and insurance – you can ask how much does he charge for each session and if his services are covered by your insurance plan if you need to pay full upfront

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your family therapy.

In this therapy, it brings family members together but you can ask your therapist if you want to seek his/her individually.

Each session will take up to 50 minutes to an hour and can take up to six months or less.

Based on your family’s particular situations and the therapist recommendation is the number of sessions that you’ll need.

While in therapy you can:

  • explore family roles, behavior patterns, and rules to help identify issues that can contribute to the conflict
  • examine your family’s ability to solve problems and express your emotions and thoughts
  • identify the family’ strength such as taking care of each other and weaknesses such as difficulty confiding to one another

For example, if you have a family member that has a depression, family members will not understand how to offer support and most of the time what he is going through.

Sometimes talking to him may lead to arguments and family members may feel angry and frustrated.

In this kind of situation, family therapy can help you by:

  • learning new ways to interact and overcome unhealthy patterns of relating to each other
  • pinpointing specific challenges and how all of you will handle them
  • setting family and individual goals and will work on ways to achieve them

As a result, you and the whole family may understand each other and he can cope better with depression.

6 Procedure Results

If you do not understand your family therapy results, consult with your doctor.

This therapy does not automatically make unpleasant situations go away or solve family conflicts but these can help you and your family members to understand each other, will help you in coping with challenging situations and will bring togetherness.

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