By Raymeka Moss
The Benefits of Family Therapy
Family Therapy can be extremely helpful for families struggling with communication issues, patterns of dysfunction, and conflicts between members. Ideally, family therapy involves members who are adolescent age or older.
The overall goals of family therapy include improving family engagement, reframing relationships, changing maladaptive behavior by teaching new skills that improve communication, and restructuring emotional processes to encourage insight into cycles of behavior. Family Therapy is an evidence based practice that relies on theoretical approaches to enhance the relationships between family members.
As important as it is to know what family therapy is, it is also important to know what family therapy is NOT. Family Therapy is not a quick fix. Although some modalities are shorter in duration, all forms of therapy require adequate time, work and patience to see results. Family Therapy is also not a blame game. Each family member contributes something unique and important to the family system. Family Therapy can help identify these qualities so that the family unit remains intact.
In family therapy, the role of the therapist is to create connections with the family as a whole. With these connections, the family therapist is able to help each family member express emotions, dissolve barriers, and come to a mutual understanding of the presenting issues. The therapist models appropriate communication skills along with impartial attitudes. The therapist is able to reframe the problem and help the family move toward resolution by developing problem solving skills in a safe space.
If your family is dealing with communication issues, an adolescent with difficult behaviors, divorce, or any other identifiable problem, family therapy may be a way to address these problems in a safe and effective manner. Even in families with conflict that seems to be never ending, family therapy can be a safe, effective solution to be able to strengthen family bonds and work toward healthier communication. It’s never too late to learn healthier ways of interacting with those you care about most.
National Library of Medicine (2023). Core Elements of Family Therapy for Adolescent Behavior Problems: Empirical Distillation of Three Manualized Treatments. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
National Library of Medicine (2023). Family Interventions: Basic Principles & Techniques. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov