Family therapy is a process that helps resolve family challenges and prevent new ones from arising. It’s a talk therapy process that involves all family members. You can attend therapy sessions with your spouse, children, and anyone else who lives with you.
Family conflicts can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. They can also lead to addiction, separation, and divorce. Children who grow up in such families are likely to have mental health issues even in adulthood. But the good news is that you can protect your family from such dangers through family counseling.
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Family Therapy Vs. Counseling
Although therapy and counseling may look similar, they have some differences. Family counseling is short-term and focuses on a specific issue. On the other hand, family therapy focuses on broader issues, such as feelings, thoughts, and behavior patterns. Therefore, therapy may last longer since it has more coverage.
Goals of Family Counseling
Family counseling aims at improving relationships among family members. Relationships usually break down due to poor communication and the inability to resolve conflicts. So the three main goals of family therapy are;
- Improving communication among family members
- Helping them cope with difficult situations
- Resolving family conflicts
Family counseling can also help divorcees and their children. If you have a child with ADHD or other mental disorders, parent counseling can help you handle your child much better. If you’re unsure whether your family needs counseling, below are some signs to help you.
Signs Your Family Needs Counseling
Most people go to therapy when it’s too late. Some family members who face family challenges don’t admit that they need counseling. Yet, unresolved problems can escalate and ruin relationships. So instead of going to therapy when your family becomes dysfunctional, it’s best to start sooner when you see the signs. But what signs indicate the need for family counseling? Well, here are some of the early signs.
- Inability to resolve conflicts in a peaceful way
- Extreme mood swings and anger issues
- Serious health problems present in one of the family members
- Dealing with a traumatizing event
- Poor interactions and isolation
If you experience these issues, you might benefit from therapy. You can decide to have family counseling at home to make it convenient for everyone. Even if you might get family counseling free, in most cases, you have to sacrifice your time and money to get a good service. But the benefits of family counseling can outweigh any sacrifice you make by far. Let’s now consider five family counseling techniques.
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Types of Family Counseling
Instead of focusing more on the conflict, family therapy aims at identifying patterns that lead to problems. Over the years, therapists have developed several family counseling techniques.
Below are some of the approaches that have helped improve family counseling efficacy.
- Structural Therapy: This technique focuses on improving relationships among the family hierarchies. The family therapist identifies how conflict is handled in the family structure and helps join the family together. In addition, the counselor helps the family members become more empathetic and have a clearer understanding of boundaries.
- Strategic Therapy: The family therapist focuses on short-term solutions to the problems faced. So the therapist will consider the symptoms experienced and provide a quick remedy. Also, strategic therapy focuses on changing the behavior that’s causing problems. This technique is common for families with children whose behavior needs changing or who are affected by their parent’s behavior.
- Systemic / Milan Therapy: The systemic technique sees the family as a system. It promotes the idea that problems are within the system and not the individuals. So it focuses on the context or the situation that contributes to the problem. A family therapist aims at helping the system work properly to solve the problem.
- Narrative Therapy: Narrative therapy seeks to understand a family’s qualities through their stories. These stories provide a point of investigation for the family therapist. Also, the counselor will try to see the story from different angles. At the same time, the counselor will separate the problem from the person and deal with it separately.
- Transgenerational Therapy: This technique tries to identify family practices, beliefs, and behaviors that pass from one generation to another. The role of the counselor is to identify these trends and predict their future impact. So your therapist will help break the pattern to solve the problem.
Importance of Family Counseling
Even though family units should be a source of comfort and strength, they can also cause distress. Family counseling can help resolve and prevent conflicts—a step that can keep you free from stress. In addition, it can help family members understand each other much better and build stronger bonds. Family counseling helps deal with any issues bothering your family. These issues include overcoming addiction, improving relationships among siblings, and coping with divorce.
Family therapy requires a licensed therapist who specializes in family matters. If you feel your family can benefit from counseling, don’t hesitate to reach out to the EZCare Clinic. We have licensed and experienced therapists who can provide online family counseling services. Get in touch with us to book an appointment or learn more about our services.