You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflict between parents and children, or the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness 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 mental illness or addiction that also requires individual therapy or rehabilitation treatment. For example, family therapy can help family members cope if a relative has schizophrenia — but the person who has schizophrenia should continue with his or her individualized treatment plan, which may include medications, one-on-one counseling or other treatment.
In the case of addiction, the family can attend family therapy while the person who has an addiction participates in residential treatment. Sometimes the family may participate in family therapy even if the addicted person hasn't sought out his or her own treatment.
Family and couples therapy can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.
How To Prepare
You can ask your primary
care doctor for a referral to
a therapist. Family members
or friends may give
on their experiences. Your
health insurance company,
program, clergy, or state
or local mental health
agencies also may offer recommendations. Of course, we recommend therapy with Taylor who brings her non-judgmental wisdom and unconditional positive regard to every session.
What To Expect
Family therapy typically brings several family members together for therapy sessions. However, a family member may also see a family therapist individually.
Sessions typically take about 50 minutes to an hour. Family therapy is often short term — generally less than six months. However, how often you meet and the number of sessions you'll need will depend on your family's particular situation and the therapist's recommendation.
During family therapy, you can:
- Examine your family's ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions
- Explore family roles, rules and behavior patterns to identify issues that contribute to conflict — and ways to work through these issues
- Identify your family's strengths, such as caring for one another, and weaknesses, such as difficulty confiding in one another
Say that your adult son has depression. Your family doesn't understand his depression or how best to offer support. Although you're worried about your son's health, conversations with your son or other family members erupt into arguments and you feel frustrated and angry. Communication diminishes, decisions go unmade, and the rift grows wider.
In such a situation, family therapy can help you:
- Pinpoint your specific challenges and how your family is handling them
- Learn new ways to interact and overcome unhealthy patterns of relating to each other
- Set individual and family goals and work on ways to achieve them
In the end, your son may be better equipped to cope with his depression, and the entire family may achieve a sense of understanding and togetherness.
Family therapy doesn't automatically solve family conflicts or make an unpleasant situation go away. But it can help you and your family members understand one another better, and it can provide you with skills to cope with challenging situations in a more effective way.
Family Therapy with Taylor
- Supervised by Dr. Sarah Woods, LMFT-S
Family therapy with Taylor Dyson is psychotherapy that helps family members or couples improve communication and resolve conflicts.
Family therapy is often short term. It may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family's situation. Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you're done going to therapy sessions.
Why It's Done
Family therapy can help you improve troubled
relationships with your spouse, children, or
other family members.