Most families may seem to be perfect, but everyone in one way or another has a dysfunctional family. However, the big struggle that families have usually roots in a lack of understanding or communication. This can hurt multiple members of the family and lead to toxic environments. Family therapists are there to step in to help with these situations so that the home isn’t a toxic environment, and everyone can communicate in a healthy way. But what exactly does family therapy do?
Family counseling, or family therapy, is a method to develop and maintain healthy and functional family relationships. The goal is to identify and address problems in the family. These issues could be emotional, psychological, or behavioral. With these issues, regardless of who is struggling the most, everyone in the family is affected in some way or another. For example, imagine a teenager struggling with anxiety, this doesn’t just impact the teen, unfortunately. Mom and Dad can be influenced as well, stressed and worried about their child, but they could also be the root to some of their anxiety, which is why family therapy can help so much. Getting that outside perspective is a big part in being able to see how you can improve.
As a matter of fact, a lot of families struggle with the same things, so while you may feel alone in your battle, you aren’t. Here are some of the common struggles families face that therapy can help with.
- difficulty communicating or expressing emotions
- conflicts between siblings
- inconsistent parenting
- marital problems
- developing a functional and healthy relationship following a divorce
- adapting to a major change
- dealing with a chronic illness or death in the family
Now that we know the root of the problems that commonly come from families, let’s talk about how they can be helpful. While every family is different, there are some common takeaways and benefits from family therapy:
- developing healthy boundaries
- improving communication
- defining someone’s role within the family
- improving family dynamics and relationships
- providing strength and coping tools for family members
- addressing dysfunctional interactions
- improving the family’s problem-solving abilities
It can be really hard to trust someone you barely know with all of that information, but in the end, it is 100% worth it. The health of your family, whether physically, mentally or emotionally, comes above all. Know that family therapists are there to help, not judge.
At Body Positive Works, our therapists support you on your journey toward recovery, long-term growth, health, and wellness, ultimately seeking to connect you back home to yourself and those healthy relationships that we as humans need in our lives. Whether you or a family member may be dealing with anxiety or depression, an eating disorder or disordered eating, addiction, negative body image, adolescent issues, trauma, a divorce, or the loss of a loved one, our expert psychotherapists can help. Therapy sessions are always confidential, creating an environment to speak openly and authentically. Choose whether to see our therapists on your own, with a family member, or in a group for a sense of community and shared experience.
There are so many benefits that people get out of family therapy that goes further than their family dynamic. For example, studies show that family therapy is effective for adolescents with mental health conditions, regardless of gender. The authors note that the adolescents in this study reported fewer internal and external problems after therapy. Once you are able to communicate freely with your family, it can alleviate a lot of stress and anxiety, which leads to better communication inside of the family, and outside with friends, classmates, teachers, colleagues, etc.