What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy or family counseling is a form of treatment that is designed to address specific issues affecting the health and functioning of a family. It can be used to help a family through a difficult period of time, a major transition, or mental or behavioral health problems in family members (“Family Therapy”, 2014).
Behavioral or emotional problems in children are common reasons to visit a family therapist. A child’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist in the context of the family and will likely need to be addressed within the context of the family (Herkov, 2016).
It should be noted that in family therapy or counseling, the term “family” does not necessarily mean blood relatives. In this context, “family” is anyone who “plays a long-term supportive role in one’s life, which may not mean blood relations or family members in the same household” (King, 2017).
Family members struggle with communicating feelings, expressions, disagreements in a healthy manner. My sessions will assist family members with creating a healthy dynamic consisting of: healthy interactions, support, communication and effective interventions.
Who can benefit from Family Therapy?
At times, many teens feel that parents are not listening to them. It’s easy for adolescents to develop a sense of hopelessness. They may also feel powerless to change their situation for the better. Our Mount Laurel family therapy services can help.
Family therapy aims to improve communication between family members, giving each one a voice. Through family counseling, we can help family members learn conflict resolution strategies, open effective communication channels, and build trust. It can provide the tools necessary to better prepare the family to work through future struggles, thus strengthening familial bonds.
Family therapy sessions are often brief, solution-oriented, and strategic. The playing field is more level between family members, promoting input from all members. It gives children and teens a voice and a safe way to discuss their concerns.
Despite its name, “family therapy” goes further than biological relatives. In this sense, “family” also includes people who play a supportive, long-term role in the adolescent’s life.
Issues Addressed in Family Therapy
Examples of problems addressed in family therapy include many common stressors that modern families face, including:
- conflicts within families
- mental health issues
- behavioral problems in children
- separation and divorce
- substance abuse or addiction
- unemployment, illness, or death
Marriage and Family Therapy
Problems arising within a marriage can negatively impact the family unit, much like issues within the family can strain a marriage. Family therapy, led by an experienced counselor, can provide help and healing for parents and kids.
Spouses and divorced parents may benefit from marriage and family therapy in several ways, including:
- learning tactics for constructive conflict resolution
- establishing effective communication of individual needs
- fostering a keen understanding of each other’s needs
- developing a deepened sense of empathy and solidarity
When spouses communicate their needs better, they usually see improvements in other areas of the marriage and family as well. That means better family dynamics overall and a more peaceful, happy home.
Family Therapy for Children
Therapy as a family unit ideally creates support for the child or teen from multiple sources. It situates the child’s problems within their greater social context, promoting trust and support between the child and family members.
Family therapy can benefit children in a multitude of ways, including:
- learning healthy coping mechanisms
- overcoming anxieties
- reducing problem behaviors
- improving school performance
- strengthening social skills and relationships
Coping with Divorce
Mental health counseling can help separated spouses and their children work through the difficulties that arise during a divorce. It may allow for smoother divorce proceedings, custody arrangements, and co-parenting plans. Blending families, integrating step-families, and redefining familial roles can create a tumultuous environment. Family therapy can ease the transition and help the family members navigate a healthy path forward.
Healing with Family Therapy
Family members struggle with communicating feelings, expressions, and disagreements in a healthy manner. Family therapy encourages open communication and helps bridge gaps in understanding between family members. It can also help rebuild trust between parents and teens, and helps families develop successful problem solving.
Family therapy unpacks and examines problems within the context of the family, guiding members on the path to improvement. My sessions will assist family members with creating a healthy dynamic consisting of:
- healthy interactions
- effective interventions
Therapy services offered:
- Family Conflict/Communication Therapy
- Child and Adolescent Issues
- Divorce or Separation
- Marital Conflict
- Blended Families/Step-families
- Domestic Violence
- Substance abuse or addiction
Are you ready for change? If yes, please contact me!