Family therapy is a form of counseling provided to families who are experiencing difficulties, or who are trying to improve the way they communicate with each other and resolve conflicts. Although family therapy is usually a short-term program aimed at helping family members work through a particular issue or crisis, participants learn life-long skills that teach them how to cope with stress and build meaningful family connections. Some families choose to continue their therapy sessions after the difficulty has been resolved, in order to maintain their newfound strengths.
Family therapy can benefit in many situations, including the following:
Family therapy is usually undertaken to help families deal with a particular issue, such as addiction, depression in a family member, or a breakdown in communication. It usually spans a period lasting between a few weeks and six months, but this varies from one family to the next.
Family therapy sessions are designed to facilitate discussion between several family members. The composition may vary from one session to the next. For example, all family members might attend a session one week, but only the children or the parents will attend the following week. There may also be times when the therapist sees individual family members on their own.
Over the course of family therapy, you and your family will learn how to identify strength within yourselves and each other, and you will learn new ways of expressing yourselves and solving problems together. By the time your therapy is complete, you will be more adept at identifying behaviours and patterns that trigger conflict, and you will be able to proactively work through the issues.