12 Reasons to Try Family Therapy
Problems are a part of life. Sometimes, these problems can get out of hand. It causes anger, frustration and leads to arguments. If you don’t address the issue, these arguments can become frequent, which will lead to rifts between the family. That is where family therapy comes in.
What is Family Therapy?
It is a method developed to help families overcome communication problems and deepen their bond through conflict resolution. It addresses emotional, psychological, or behavioral problems. Its primary focus is to create a loving and caring home environment and resolve family conflicts.
Who can Opt for Family Therapy?
Children and adults of all ages can opt for family therapy to work through their issues.
Reasons for Family Therapy
Families need therapy for many reasons. The most common reasons are to:
- Work on collectively solving problems
- Improve communication
- Find and work through issues causing conflict.
- Identify the family’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Manage stress
- Deepen family bonds
- Resolve issues with extended family members
- Deal with death in the family
- Financial Problems
- Planning custody of children
Finding a Family Therapist
So, how do you find a good therapist? Well, you can ask your doctor, friends, health insurance provider, or the internet for family therapists available near you. You can also search AAMFT’s website for a therapist available near you. There are also excellent facilities that provide family therapy through multiple family programs like Serenity At Summit. The duration of your family therapy depends on the number of issues you have to work through. In addition, the treatment depends on your family’s situation. Also, you can do the sessions alone or with family. Lastly, interview potential therapists before selecting the one that best suits your family. Ask them the following questions:
- What are your qualifications?
- How much experience do you have?
- Where is your office located?
- What are your hours?
- Do I have to pay upfront?
- Can my insurance cover the cost or not?
Evidence in Favor of Family Therapy
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), family therapy is “as effective, and in some cases more effective than standard, or individual treatments for...adult schizophrenia, affective (mood) disorders, adult alcoholism, and drug abuse, children’s conduct disorders, adolescent drug abuse, anorexia in young adult women, childhood autism, chronic physical illness in adults and children, and marital distress and conflict.” AAMFT also reports that:
- almost 90% of clients improved their emotional health
- 2/3 improved their physical health
- majority improved their productivity at work
- 3/4 couples improved their relationship
- over 70% of kids’ behavior improved along with their performance in school
A review in 2019 found that “family therapy demonstrated effectiveness in treating conduct problems, emotional problems, eating disorders, somatic problems, and recovery from abuse or neglect. The study also found that it was useful either when utilized independently or as part of a multimodal treatment program.”
What to Expect During Family Therapy?
First, the therapist will gather facts to understand the family situation. They will ask probing questions that will be uncomfortable to answer. Once they have established all the facts, they will devise a treatment designed to improve family communication and resolve conflicts.
Types of Family Therapy
There are many types of family therapy. We will discuss the twelve most common types of family therapy, each designed for specific issues.
- Family-based behavioral treatment focuses on resolving children’s behavioral issues by having parents set a good example.
- Family-based behavioral treatment (parents only) focuses on resolving children’s weight issues.
- Multidimensional family therapy focuses on resolving youth behavioral issues by addressing all the influencing factors.
- Functional family therapy focuses on resolving children’s behavioral issues and improving family functioning.
- Multisystemic therapy focuses on resolving children’s emotional or behavioral problems.
- Transgenerational therapy focuses on resolving conflicts spanning several generations.
- Brief strategic family therapy focuses on improving interactions between family members. Research has shown that this therapy reduces arrests and incarceration in the short and long term.
- Structural therapy focuses on resolving problems due to family hierarchy.
- Family systems therapy focuses on helping people overcome mental health problems.
- Narrative family therapy focuses on resolving issues by having people share their side of the story.
- Psychoeducation focuses on educating people about the different mental health conditions.
- Supportive family therapy focuses on resolving issues by creating a safe environment where people can openly share.
Cost of Family Therapy
Many people continue to suffer from mental health problems because of expensive treatment.
The average therapist’s per hour rate ranges from $65 to $250. Therapists that are highly trained charge more.
Family Therapy Risks
Just like everything, family therapy, if done wrong, has its risks too. They are:
- If therapists take sides, allow couples to argue, or talk over each other, it worsens the conflict.
- Stopping therapy too soon may leave issues unresolved.
Family therapy takes time to deliver results. Most families have deeply rooted issues going back decades, and it can take time to resolve through all of that. And it is not going to be easy talking about your personal or family history. Most people are hesitant to talk about intimate family details with a stranger. However, the reward at the end is worth it as you and your family will be closer than ever.