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Family therapy

What is family therapy

Family therapy is a type of treatment designed to help family groups with problems that relate specifically to relationship health.

This therapeutic approach can help individual family members build more resilient relationships, a more peaceful home environment, improve communication and manage conflicts within the family system.

Therapy sessions can provide skills to deepen family bonds and overcome times of stress.

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When to undertake family therapy

Family therapy can be helpful in any situation that causes stress, pain, anger or conflict.

It can help you improve problematic relationships with your partner, children, or other family members.

It can address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflicts between parents and children, or the impact of addiction or a mental disorder on the entire family.

The family may pursue this kind of therapeutic approach along with other types of mental health treatment, especially if one or more family members suffers / suffer from a condition that also requires additional therapy or rehabilitation treatment.

For instance:

Family therapy can help family members if a relative suffers from a mental disorder such as schizophrenia, but the person suffering from schizophrenia should continue with their individualized treatment plan, which may include medication, individual therapy, or other treatment.

In the event of an addiction, the family can attend family therapy while the person with an addiction participates in residential treatment.

Sometimes the family can participate in therapy even if the person with an addiction has not sought their own treatment.

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What to expect from family therapy

Family therapy typically brings several family members together for therapy sessions. However, a family member can also meet the psychologist individually .

The frequency of the meetings and the number of sessions needed will depend on the particular situation of your family and the therapist’s suggestion.

During family therapy, you can:

  • Examine one’s family’s ability to cope with problems and express thoughts and emotions productively;
  • Explore family roles, rules and patterns of behavior to identify problems contributing to the conflict and ways to overcome them;
  • Identify the strengths of your family, how to take care of each other, or weaknesses and difficulties;
  • Learn to understand each other better and acquire skills to deal with difficult situations more effectively;
  • Pursue a greater sense of unity.
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Who should consider this kind of therapy

  • Any kind of family conformation:
    • a single parent family;
    • an “extended” family;
    • brothers and sisters;
    • intergenerational families etc.
  • Families of any origin, ethnicity, culture, religion and families formed by members of different religions, backgrounds and ethnicities;
  • LGBTQ+ families;
  • Parents in pregnancy.