Family Therapy

What is family therapy?

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.


How can it help?

Family therapy can benefit in many situations, including the following:

  • You are struggling to communicate with your child or spouse, and you are looking for ways to reconnect with them
  • A family member is diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression or PTSD, and the rest of the family needs help coping
  • A family member has an addiction and can benefit from family therapy as part of his or her recovery
  • You and your family need help supporting a family member who has witnessed or experienced a trauma
  • You are a blended family trying to make the transition to life as one family unit


How does it work?

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.

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