Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
– Jane Howard
If your family is feeling torn apart, family therapy can help you heal.
Who is Part of the Family?
The definition of family has changed over time. Now it could include …
- Parents with adult children
- A mother with an adult daughter
- Adult siblings whose parents are deceased
- Blended families
- Remarriages at the elderly time of life
- Gay and lesbian couples.
All of these configurations can have their own special concerns, issues, and challenges anytime during a lifetime.
Why it’s Done
- In general, anyone who wants to improve troubled relationships can benefit from family therapy.
- You can use family therapy to address specific issues, such as marital and financial problems, conflict between parents and adult children, siblings who are at odds in response to having a parent with dementia, and the effects of anxiety and depression on the entire family.
- Your family may pursue family therapy along with other types of mental health treatment, especially if one of you has a serious mental health issue that also requires individual therapy.
What you can Expect
- Family therapy typically brings entire families or those most able to participate, together for therapy sessions. However, family members may also see a family therapist individually as part of the overall treatment and counseling process.
- With the help of the therapist you’ll examine your family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions.
- Your family may explore family roles, rules, and behavior patterns in order to identify issues that contribute to conflict – as well as ways to work through the issues.
- Family therapy may help you identify your family’s strengths, such as caring for one another, and weaknesses, such as difficulty in confiding in one another.
- Family therapy is often short term – typically less than six months. The specific treatment plan will depend on your family’s situation.
For a number of years I have worked with families and couples helping them to find their voices and feel safe enough to begin to share their reactions, feelings, and thoughts with one another. From my point of view, the work is really about assisting people in letting down their well developed defenses in order to begin to listen to their loved one without taking it personally. As a result, people can begin to re-approach one another with new eyes. I love this work and see the power that it has to both heal old wounds as well as address current conflicts.
Please contact me with any questions you may have.