Family counseling, also known as family therapy, is a therapeutic approach that creates healthy and functional family relationships. The objective is to identify and address problems within the family, which can range from emotional and psychological to behavioral.
At Elevate Rockwall, we use a variety of treatment practices like family therapy, EDMR, and more to assist in recovery and healing. If you’ve ever wondered what is the purpose of family therapy and if it can help you and your loved ones, read on to find out more.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy principles are grounded in the family systems theory, which suggests that families are interconnected systems, rather than groups of individuals functioning independently. According to this theory, a change in one family member will invariably trigger changes in other aspects of the family. This understanding guides the therapeutic process and enhances the effectiveness of family therapy in resolving issues and creating healthier dynamics.
What is the Purpose of Family Therapy?
Family therapy empowers families to navigate challenges, resolve problems, and strengthen the family unit. Often, families seek therapy in response to distressing circumstances such as a child's illness, addiction, behavioral problems, or relational disputes. These stressors exert immense strain on all family members.
While family therapy can’t eliminate these stressors, it can equip families with effective coping mechanisms. That often involves letting go of expectations while working towards a better future.
When we strive to alter circumstances or people without first accepting the reality of 'what is', we risk heading in an unhelpful direction. However, by learning to acknowledge that, and consciously determining how we cope, relate, and respond to each other, we can alter the patterns of the family in constructive ways.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Family therapy harnesses the power of relationships and love to promote the well-being of each member, thereby contributing to a healthier family. This treatment provides several benefits for your family’s well-being:
Family Counseling Therapy Can Improve Family Communication
Family therapy sessions improve communication, clarify each family member's role, and foster an environment where everyone feels safe to express their concerns and difficulties. When the whole family comes together to communicate openly and share their worries, it paves the way for constructive problem-solving. A family counselor plays the pivotal role of an impartial mediator.
It Enhances Family Relationships and Bonding
Parents often struggle to connect with their teenagers who prefer solitude or the company of their peers. During family therapy, parents and their teenage children can spend quality time together and discover shared interests. This joint effort strengthens bonds and enhances family relationships.
Family Therapy Can Improve Mental Health
Stress is a contributor to both physical and mental health issues. Family counseling involves discussions around stress-inducing family situations. A family counselor provides strategies for family members to cope with challenging circumstances. That leads to a less stressful life, significantly benefiting each member's physical and mental health.
It Can Help Keep the Whole Family Intact
When marital conflicts become commonplace, they can be highly distressing for children. Family therapists can step in to mediate such situations. The goal of family therapy extends beyond resolving conflicts; it preserves the family unit and creates harmony at home.
Family Therapy Can Boost Self-Esteem and Confidence
Family therapy can improve their self-esteem and confidence by addressing any negative beliefs or emotions stemming from family issues. A family counselor helps each member identify their strengths, talents, and areas needing improvement. Acknowledging and appreciating contributions makes family members feel more valued and respected. That can boost their self-confidence and motivation to pursue their goals and aspirations.
Different Types of Family Counseling
Family counseling takes various forms, each tailored to different family dynamics and situations. Below, we list the common forms of family counseling.
Functional Family Therapy (FFT): A short-term therapeutic approach that targets adolescents with behavioral issues, FFT focuses on improving communication and support within the family.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST): An intensive family and community-based treatment that addresses the aspects of a teenager's environment contributing to their behavioral problems.
Transgenerational Therapy: Explores generational behavior patterns and beliefs, helping families understand and change negative patterns.
Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT): Targets family interactions contributing to a child's behavioral problems. It includes direct interventions to change these interactions.
Structural Therapy: Focuses on adjusting and strengthening the family system to ensure each member can interact effectively and satisfy their needs. The therapist often joins the family to engage and realign the family's structure.
Narrative Therapy: Helps families create new stories about their lives and relationships rather than negative narratives. It empowers families to identify and use their strengths and values to overcome challenges.
Bowenian Therapy: Based on the idea that families are emotionally interconnected systems and that every member's behavior affects the others. It helps families reduce anxiety, increase differentiation, and resolve conflicts.
Each type of family therapy serves a unique purpose, but all share the same objective – to create healthy family relationships.
Family counseling addresses the root causes of family issues through various therapeutic interventions. Different family problems may necessitate specific types of therapy. When seeking a therapist, individuals should ensure that their insurance plan is accepted and that their policy covers the required service. Family therapy with our therapists at Elevate Rockwall creates healthier and stronger family relationships. Call us today and one of our therapists will reach out to you.