When Family Therapy Is a Good Idea
The benefits of family therapy are well established, for families with major relationship issues and for families that have minor problems that can easily be resolved with modern psychological techniques. Family counseling can address issues like:
- Sibling rivalry problems
- Parent-child conflicts
- Inability to discuss problems openly or to communicate effectively
- Unhealthy habits that can lead to further conflicts
If you feel that your family has been having problems of any kind, family counseling can provide some much-needed help in a professional setting.
What to Expect From Family Therapy
Family counseling won’t completely eliminate all of your family’s problems, but it will give your family the tools that it needs to address its own problems. This is mainly done by creating an atmosphere in which communication is easier; all members of a family are encouraged to speak freely, but respect is absolutely essential. Many family therapists teach families how to read each others’ emotions and to listen carefully when other family members are talking. This may be accomplished through simple therapy, through games (especially if young children are present during the sessions), or even through one-on-one counseling.
Each family counseling expert will use different methods, as each family will need different types of therapy in order to progress. If you’re interested in finding out more information about the tactics used in a family therapy session, talk to your therapist. He or she should be able to provide you with information or literature explaining the methods used–and more importantly, why they are used to help families communicate and function more respectfully.
Finding a Family Therapist
It is very important to use a qualified family therapist, and this can be difficult if you’ve never looked for a psychology professiona in the past. A good place to start is the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). This organization provides tips for families that are looking for therapy and counseling advice and looks into the qualifications of family counselors in every state to ensure that they provide accurate and professional services.
You can also look for local family therapists, but check to make sure that they’re qualified. Ask about previous social and psychology work. Find out which degrees the therapists have; most good family therapists will have graduate or postgraduate degrees. Ask for information on the family therapy services that the counselor provides and look online for reviews from other families who have used these services. Family counseling is a legitimate profession that requires a lot of education to perform; if you come across a therapist who isn’t qualified, don’t consider their services or you might end up exacerbating your family’s issues.
Getting Family Members to Agree to Therapy
One of the most difficult parts of joining a family counseling program is convincing each member of a family of the necessity of counseling. The best way to do this is to organize a family meeting and to calmly discuss the possibility of counseling. Make sure that every family member is at least aware of the therapy sessions before they begin; any type of psychological treatment should be addressed directly, and this includes counseling of all types. Make sure that your family knows that there’s no stigma to counseling. If you need advice, contact your counselor. Counselors are often the best resource for creating a positive environment for your first family therapy session.
Organizing family therapy may seem difficult, but it’s a necessary and incredibly helpful step for keeping your family together. Modern family counseling is relatively inexpensive and can give you the techniques and tools that you need to effectively address your family’s issues. With the right mindset and a good family counselor, therapy can be a great resource for any family.