3 Things You Should Know Before Going to Family Therapy
Ups and downs, breakthroughs, and breakdowns are what life is all about. Unexpected tragedies make our life a never-ending rollercoaster. Philosophically speaking, life is best described as a blank space filled with uncertainty.
No individual person could be prepared for any situation in life in advance. It can be difficult for an individual and even a whole family to cope with such uncertainty and ups and downs, all by themselves.
All this tension can build up in a family leading to mental health issues. The most common ones are anxiety, depression, PTSD, and social anxiety, to name a few. This is exactly where family therapy comes into play. Mental health has always been a serious topic but, till now, has lacked awareness.
With growing internet and connectivity, awareness has taken off. Mental health is now treated as seriously as it should be.
Going to family therapy is a good step to take if a family needs to strengthen their bond and get through difficult times. All while comforting each other and moving ahead at a good pace together. Whether you’re looking for Talkspace therapists or in-person services more local to you, mental health services and behavioral health services are easily available for anyone seeking professional help at any given point in their life.
What You Need to Know Before Going to Family Therapy
Here is a look at three major things that you should be aware of if you are looking to seek family therapy.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) conducted by professional therapists. It aims to improve communication by resolving issues and conflicts on a neutral and open ground.
The (sometimes deep-rooted) problem is analyzed by the therapist, and a family interaction takes place. This family interaction is then carefully studied and observed. The therapist finds behavioral patterns related to the issues, which are then fixed for better interrelationships.
This can help individual family members as well as the whole family. They can collectively improve their mental health and functioning.
The primary goal of a mental health specialist is to create a better and more nourishing home environment. They solve family issues and conflicts and help the family grow together. Thanks to the internet, online family therapy is now available in just a few clicks.
This has helped make therapy more effective, especially since most families have a rather complex schedule. With online family therapy, family members can easily attend sessions from the comfort of their homes (or wherever each family member is) at a time that is convenient to them.
There are several reasons for a family to seek professional family therapy. Some common reasons include:
- The conflict between a close family member
- Lack of communication
Family therapy is an effective way to build a relationship. Sometimes from scratch, if required. It can even be taught as group healing sessions.
The sessions can be conducted weekly or monthly. The frequency can be increased for kids who experience a major gap of understanding between their parents and themselves.
In some cases, serious traumatic events lead to a complex mental state. Events such as the loss of anyone close, divorce, etc., also take a toll on mental health. This also requires the help of a mental health specialist. They help to get past the emotional impact it has had on an individual.
Alternatively, if an individual from a family has a serious mental illness, family therapy helps that individual as well as other family members. They know the right way to act around that individual. The right behavior can prevent further hurt, anger, or resentment, among the various other issues.
Suppose a family member is undergoing a serious mental disorder like bipolar disorder. The therapist will treat the affected individual with one-on-one counseling. But, they will also help their family create the best environment for their growth and healing.
Mental health therapy and behavioral health services also help individuals suffering from addiction and the family affected by the addiction.
What are the Different Types of Family Therapy?
There are various types of family therapy. Depending upon the cause and type of mental illness, the therapy method will differ. Some of the common types of family therapy are discussed below.
Bowenian family therapy is ideal for those who cannot or do not want to bring family members into the healing setting. Bowenian therapy focuses on two primary concepts: triangulation and differentiation.
Triangulation is the process of involving a third individual to diffuse anger and anxiety. The intensity of the emotional reactions is observed. Various measures and practices are conducted to decrease the intensity.
Structural therapy aims to make the family system stronger by giving control in the hand of the parents. It also sets appropriate boundaries from both sides.
This method focuses on helping family members create new boundaries and improving dynamics within the family. They aim at establishing a basic routine for the best functioning of the family. Such boundaries and routines help parents deal with behavioral or emotional issues in their children.
Systemic therapy focuses on unconscious communication and studying the individual’s behavior. Systemic therapy is mostly focused on behavioral health care. The therapist usually takes two different approaches to a topic to understand the dynamic in the behavior of the family members. This helps to have a deeper observation and understanding of the issue and the problems of any individual as a family.
Strategic therapy is a direct form of family therapy that delivers results quicker than other methods. Mental health specialists observe the problem and give the family some homework. This includes recording and studying the future behavior of the family members.
It also analyzes their approaches to the problems and their solutions. The inputs from the homework help the therapist to access underlying issues. Based on the analysis, the therapist teaches the family how to communicate their problems.
Family therapy can help improve family relationships and encourage bonding. It can also be instrumental in helping the family deal with the mental health of one of their loved ones. If you feel the need, you should seek family therapy at the earliest to have a harmonious relationship within the family.