It is not a secret that families can go through quite a bit of strain due to a variety of different circumstances. Whether it is because of ongoing issues, such as financial hardship and poor health conditions, or one impactful event, there is no real way to predict how your family will be affected by the more surprising aspects of life. Even harder to predict is how your family will be reacting to these. It is when these difficulties strike that it is good to look into the possibilities of seeking family therapy. While a lot of families, due to stigma or pride, might be at first reluctant to undergo family therapy, it is a good way to encourage more communication and healthier behaviors within the home.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a fairly common and ultimately useful tool for families that are having trouble functioning properly as a unit. The practice applies the same principles of personal therapy to a family unit, aiming at understanding the root causes of the manifesting issues and addressing them in productive and effective ways. The process requires a lot of vulnerability and disposition on the part of the family, so it’s not necessarily an easy process.
Most family problems stem from problems in communication and these can only be properly addressed through, well, communication. When it comes to implementing family therapy, results will only be possible if every involved member is willing and open to going through the process. Therapy requires people to acknowledge problematic behavior, which in part requires vulnerability and a desire to improve upon one’s behavior. It calls for people to actively listen to others, which is not easy to accomplish in a household that has been having problems.
What Does Family Therapy Consist Of?
There are different ways to approach family therapy. Depending on the case at hand, therapists will either meet with everyone in the family or with each individual separately at first. They intend to gauge the state of the relationships within the family and to understand the interactions between the members. This is how the therapists gain an idea of where the problems are coming from, what conditions are affecting the unit, and possible ways to potentially address these issues. Encouraging a healthy space that serves as an outlet for communication and understanding between the members of the family unit will allow for better dynamics to be developed and for underlying issues to be properly addressed.
Unhealthy patterns of behavior are very difficult to break or change without the proper channels for communication and empathy. While these are often a part of most family dynamics, straining situations can make them harder to access. Family therapy can help regain these healthy outlets and break vicious cycles of damaging behavior.