Family therapy is a journey of understanding. The family is a system in which each member affects the other members, like ripples in a pond. Learning to examine the current patterns of behavior within your family can help clarify what each member is really saying and/or asking for that may not be being spoken. In this way, family therapy can open up communication and foster healthy relationships.
Many times a family comes in for help dealing with a specific or unresolved conflict. Typically I like to meet with the entire family at some point and have everyone contribute their perspective. Then, I may meet with different combinations of members to begin working on the goals the family has.
What can result with family therapy is understanding and valuing differences, increased closeness, strategies for handling conflict, realignment of expectations, and clarification of the family identity and its values.
Some of the topics that bring families to therapy: Transitions (i.e. moving, schools, separation/divorce) A death in the family Developmental changes (childhood to adolescent to young adulthood) Caring for aging parents/grandparents Blending of families due to remarriage (stepfamilies) Image courtesy of smarnad/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net