Parenting is a rewarding and challenging process that calls for a great deal of flexibility. As parents, we face major new challenges and anxieties as our children develop and grow. Family therapy may be helpful when your concerns exceed your capacity to handle them. The 5 reasons to go to family therapy are different for every family.
What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?
Family therapy, also called family counseling, is a way to help families deal with problems that affect their relationships, mental health, and overall well-being.
Family therapy doesn’t just focus on one person. Instead, it works on emotional, communication, and behavioral problems that affect the whole family.
Your family therapist can help you:
- Understand where your difficulties stem from and how to address them
- Set and maintain healthy boundaries
- Improve communication, restore confidence
- Help a family member who is experiencing difficulties
What to Expect from Family Therapy
In the initial family therapy session, your therapist will ask questions to get to know you and your family, why you are seeking counseling and your therapeutic goals. After that, they will create and suggest a treatment plan.
You can expect your family therapist to mediate between family members. However, they will remain neutral and will not take sides or place blame during the sessions. The goal of family therapy is not to figure out who is to blame but to help family members work through their problems.
5 Reasons to Go to Family Therapy
Every family has its own unique needs and reasons to seek family counseling. Even the same family’s treatment needs and goals may change as their children progress through their developmental phases and the stressors in the family change with each stage of development.
However, here are the five most common reasons to go to family therapy.
1. Mental Health Issues
The mental health issues of one family member have an impact on the entire family. Family therapy is widely used to help children and teenagers struggling with emotional difficulties such as anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, or depression. Family counseling can also help adult family members manage stress, address mental health issues, and identify problems that contribute to their illness.
2. Communication Issues
Family counseling may benefit any family dynamics suffering from poor communication, disagreements, or stress.
Family therapy sessions help you understand how each family member contributes to the family’s troubles. A family therapist collaborates with family members to understand what caused the problem and how to address it.
3. Teenage Years
Teenagers may experience feelings of isolation and anxiety if they do not feel accepted. This can lead to mental health issues, behavioral problems, and a communication breakdown. Counseling can help teens who are insecure, depressed, or anxious due to low self-esteem, peer pressure, or body image issues.
It may be traumatic for their children when parents go through a divorce or separation. Family therapy can help you focus on the needs and well-being of everyone involved, particularly your children.
5. Major Life Changes
Significant life changes, such as moving, children going off to college, the loss of a family member, or a serious health diagnosis, can affect family members’ emotional and mental health. Family therapy can be a safe place to address emotions and adapt to changes.