Family therapy consists of two or more members of a family that are looking to improve the way that they interact with one another and resolve conflicts that have put strain on their relationship. This type of therapy allows each member to examine the family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions. You and your family will learn the importance of healthy communication and coping skills. My role is to assist the family in identifying the causes of distress, teach ways to handle conflicts and change, and help all members to take responsibility for specific problems. At times, one family member may need to change their behaviors more than others.
My style of counseling is very active and may involve assignments, such as writing letters, delegating duties, completing worksheets, journal writing, etc. At times, I may meet with members of the family individually if necessary.
Family sessions are 80 minutes long, and the number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate. Your family and I will set goals and discuss the length of time expected to achieve them. Here are some issues that may be addressed in family counseling:
- The family is in mourning after suffering a loss.
- A child has behavior or school problems.
- Children or teens have problems getting along with each other.
- One family member has a long-term (chronic) mental illness or substance abuse problem, such as severe depression or an alcohol use problem.
- The whole family or a member of the family has experienced some sort of abuse, possibly verbally or physically.
- Inappropriate boundaries with one another and outside of the family.
- The family is in the middle of a crisis, such as, addiction, a natural disaster, job loss, etc.