Going to therapy can be a hard step to make; it is vital to recognize that you made the step and came into therapy to help yourself. Individual therapy is critical to work on yourself, but family therapy can be as effective as individual therapy.  The power of family therapy is that it helps improve communication, solve problems happening within the family, understand other family members’ feelings, and create a positive home climate.

Who is Involved in Family Therapy?

When mentioning family therapy, who do you think should be involved in treatment with you? Family therapy can include parents, children/siblings, potentially extended family members like aunts or uncles. Not everyone lives and their biological parents and legal guardians can be involved with family therapy. Additionally, blended families are hard on family relationships, and it would be beneficial to include members of the blended family. Family therapy usually has one look at who you live with and or who is influenced by parenting styles.

When is Family Therapy Needed?

Family therapy is not necessary for every family; however, throughout life, there are hard times that families go through. Therapy can help get through the hard times.

Blended families are two separate families that are coming into one big family. There is an adjustment period that one has to go through. Step-parents can have a hard time figuring out their role in parenting a child that is not their biological child. Additionally, there are now two parents in the household that parent differently. Children notice that their new step-sibling is getting different punishments since their step-parent is doing the punishing. That can be hard to accept as a child and can be hard to balance as parents and combining a parenting style. Family therapy can help with the adjustment of blended families.

Families can disconnect from one another, and communication can become non-existent. If a family has begun disconnected from one another, they do not know what is happening in one another’s lives. Most likely technology is the primary way of communication, and social media informs you of what your family is doing. Another factor of disconnect is holding secrets from one another. Secrets are acceptable to have in your family; however, if everything becomes a secret. Therapy can help you figure out what secrets should be shared and how to be open. Unplugging yourselves and going to family therapy will allow you to become more in tune with family members.

Children can be a challenge for your family. Whether your child might be known as a “loner” or a “drama queen,” it can play a factor in your family. There is most likely an underlying concern on why your child is acting like this. There could be a mental health concern that has never been addressed. Completing family therapy will help figure out what ways you could support your child.

There are many reasons other than the ones discussed throughout this section where family therapy is right for you.

What does Family Therapy Look Like

During family, therapy can look different for each family. When first going to therapy, you will get to know the therapist, and they determine the best method for your family. That could mean doing talk therapy where everyone is in the same room and discussing different situations that arise at home. Group activities are utilized frequently throughout family therapy. There are thousands of activities that could be beneficial for your family. Therapeutic games can be used. Those games can help get to know each other; they are interactive and allow you to move your body or might include drawing activities.

The skills that you are working on as a family will require you to continue the work you are doing during therapy to your home life. It can have some challenges. The skills will be easier to complete during treatment, but the proof of your hard work will show at home over time.

The Perks of Family Therapy

Therapy is not fixing a situation overnight. It takes time to do family therapy, especially with more than one person is involved.
Benefits of doing family therapy:

  • improve communication skills
  • develop problem-solving skills
  • healthy boundaries within the family
  • reducing conflict

The activities and conversations that take place throughout family therapy will allow you to get to know each other differently. You are talking about feelings and how on another might be thinking. When you can get to know each other, the willingness to be honest with one another will increase. Creating honesty in your home will generate trust and support one another.

Contact Perspectives Therapy Services to schedule an appointment to talk with a therapist and plan a family therapy appointment and create a happier home climate.

Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland, Fenton and New Hudson, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.