Family relationships are an important part of your psychological health.
The family often serves as the platform you take your identity from and it can be your main support. It can also, however, be your main source of anxiety, misunderstanding, and upset.
Family therapy focuses on relationships between people, helping families to help each other. It is a well-established psychotherapeutic model that is proven to help, whether you are blood-related, extended family, a couple, or a group of people who choose to define yourselves as family.
Your family unit is the focus of a family therapy session, not your individual issues. Sessions are about noticing the patterns and interactions at play in your relationships and helping you find new ways to change and grow together.
The environment created by your family therapist is one that doesn’t focus on who is at fault or to blame, but rather on what can be done to improve and solve situations you are facing.
Some issues that family therapy helps with are
– separation and divorce – couples issues – child behavioural issues – parenting challenges – difficulties during adolescence – illness and bereavement – fostering, adoption, stepfamilies – lifestyle adjustments including retirement, aging, and employment changes
A family is a system. Like any type of system, if there is one part not working properly, then the whole system starts to break down.
Family therapy helps to identify the negative interactions or cycles that can start to emerge within family systems. After de-escalating these cycles, families can then rebuild positive cycles of interaction, so that the family can become stronger and more cohesive. This allows family members to turn towards each other again, instead of away from each other.
Family therapy is a chance for a group conversation in a supportive environment that helps you see new ways through it together. Family therapy does not only focus on adults, but is also a very effective way of helping struggling children or adolescents.
You don’t have to be experiencing great difficulties to attend family therapy. It’s also very useful as a check-in to keep your relationships on track. Whilst ideal for as many family members to attend as are affected by the difficulties, it is possible to make a start with those family members that are willing to participate.