When a family is in crisis, it is often beneficial for everybody involved to seek the help of a therapist to cope with their situation and the emotions resulting from it. The role of a family therapist is to facilitate open and honest conversation between family members. When everyone is on board with the therapy, this results in stronger, more satisfactory connections between individuals and overall.
There are different approaches to family therapy. Whichever one your family chooses depends entirely on the family dynamic and the goal of therapy as a group or couple.
Structural Family Therapy
This type of therapy identifies and addresses communications issues that breed problems within families. Through the analysis of family dynamics, including hierarchies and boundaries both flexible and inflexible, structural family therapists are able to best identify the causes of various problems as they relate to the structure of the overall family unit.
Strategic therapy is a type of therapist-initiated therapy that looks at how therapy sessions transpire and create solution-focused plans to help families conquer their problems. This is a five-part strategy that involves identifying problems, setting goals related to the solving of these problems, create and execute a plan to accomplish those goals, assess the results and then determine the overall success of the therapy.
The goal of this type of therapy is to improve and strengthen a family’s ability to communicate effectively amongst each other. There are many issues that can disrupt a family’s communication or create unhealthy patterns of communication, and it is the job of the therapist to identify these causes. Solutions can include mediated communications, active listening, and any number of techniques used to improve how individuals relate to and speak with one another.
The purpose of psychoeducation is to inform sufferers of mental illness and their loved ones about the ailment and its treatment. Unresolved mental illness can place immense strain on a family’s dynamics, create negative feelings and confusion that harms how families relate to each other. A therapist who deals in psychoeducation will teach the person and their family members matters related to the illness itself, including symptoms, treatment courses, and how to support their loved one.
Relationships can be difficult terrain to navigate at times. The various aspects of daily life, stress and life-changing events can alter how couples communicate and function within the context of their relationship. It is the job of a couples’ counsellor to help couples identify the causes of their problems and the feelings associated with them, as well as assess the overall dynamic between the people involved.
There are many different approaches to family therapy. When your family is struggling to cope with life in any way, it is advisable to seek out one of these services so that issues can be adequately addressed and – hopefully – remedied.