There are a lot of misconceptions about family therapy. For many people, it stirs up an image of an entire family in group therapy. But that is only one option. Family therapy really earns its name in another way. It’s a form of counseling that focuses on family dynamics, issues, and interactions, so family therapy can sometimes be one-on-one too.
The emotional health of your family shapes so many parts of your life in so many ways. If something affects your family, therapy is a healthy option for navigating and managing changes or problems.
Keep reading to learn more about how it can help.
Family Therapy 101
Since family therapy is commonly focused on finding solutions, it tends to be a short-term strategy. Your therapist will be someone well-trained in marriage and family matters. The number of family members who attend will depend on several factors, such as the dynamics within your group and the issue being addressed.
During your sessions, you’ll spend time examining:
- How your family communicates
- Hidden and obvious family patterns
- What causes conflict within your family unit
Some of the reasons you may seek out family therapy include:
- Someone in the family has a serious/chronic illness
- Someone in the family is struggling with substance abuse
- Loss of a loved one
- Major life changes, e.g., relocation, job loss, graduation, etc.
- Divorce or separation
- Parenting problems and/or sibling conflict
Some of the Benefits of Family Therapy
Through family counseling, you all will learn to identify the problems impacting your family and improve the flow of communication. You’ll also access additional benefits too, like:
- Creating new approaches for handling conflict
- Developing a wide range of coping skills
- How to set, enforce, and respect boundaries
- Strengthening relationships
- Addressing behavioral issues with children
The 4 Types of Family Therapy
There are four types of therapy for family counseling, and which one you take part in depends on your family’s needs. Below are the options.
1. Systemic Family Therapy
Rather than focusing on the individual, systemic family therapy is all about the interactions between individuals. That means that the family as a unit is the subject. The goals of systemic therapy include:
- Understanding how the actions of each family member impacts the others
- Identifying family dynamics and the role they play
- Improving family communication
2. Structural Family Counseling
If your child or teen acts out, it’s normal to shine a light on the behavior. Structural family therapy instead explores how family dysfunction is connected to bad behavior. Family members are encouraged to appreciate their role in the family structure. This often involves the setting of healthy boundaries.
3. Brief Strategic Family Therapy
Brief strategic family therapy is a short-term option that usually lasts about 12 sessions. It builds off of structural therapy by connecting the family to a bigger picture. Problematic behavior by any family member (most typically a child) is the focus of this intensive approach.
4. Psycho-education on Family Counseling
Thanks to the internet, we each know a little more about mental health conditions, and psycho-education takes this to the next level. Family members are taught about the issues that impact them while also learning about the treatments used to address these conditions. Studies show that the more everyone understands the factors at play, the better they can support each other.
Family Therapy Columbus Ohio
Viewing the family as an evolving unit can be life-altering. In family counseling, you’ll begin to recognize how intensely you all influence each other, but it’s also a lot to process. That’s why so many folks have enlisted the help of an experienced and skilled family therapist.
Our team has experience helping families find new ways to understand each other and reconnect. Even when the situation feels impossible, there is always hope if you have the right guide.