People often wonder “What are the reasons for Family Therapy?”
Individuals typically seek out family therapy services in order to resolve ongoing conflict and improve communication between family members. During times of increased stress, conflict between individuals often increases, causing tension within the family unit. A common reason for family therapy is to focus on structural changes within a family while the therapist acts as an active facilitator in the process of restructuring the family. The clinician assists family members in altering interactions and communication patterns that affect the family system as a whole. Often times, families engage in certain patterns of transactions and this creates the resemblance of having structure.
In therapy, the therapist has to build a relationship or alliance with each individual member of the family and allows each to express their concerns, while the therapist remains empathic and encourages family members to fully listen to each other.
The first few stages of family therapy should focus on structural mapping, in which family members will began to understand problems beyond the individual family members. Enactments should be used in therapy in order for the family to observe the interactions between all the family members and through these enactments the presenting problems could be more fully explored and discussed. Additionally, family therapy services often help family members gain a better understanding of a family member’s mental health diagnosis or substance abuse problem. It is also beneficial for children who are experiencing significant change, such as parents’ divorce, academic problems, or the loss of a loved one. The family becomes involved in the individual’s treatment by increasing the ability to problem solve and understanding family dynamics, ultimately reducing family conflict.
In a well functioning family, all members should have their sense of autonomy and be open to discuss any concerns they may have regarding the family system.
Contact Dr. Elsa M. Orlandini and Miami Psychology Group if you believe that your family has reasons for family therapy and could benefit from family therapy services from one of our licensed clinical psychologists and therapists.