Family counseling or family therapy is a treatment developed to keep family functionality strong and healthy. It can help a family overcome any transition, health problems or help them get through a difficult time. The goals of such treatments include dealing with any behavioral, emotional, psychological, or mental issues.
Family therapy is of great help, especially when children are diagnosed with behavioral and emotional problems. Therapists use interpersonal, cognitive, and other therapy treatment types to address their patients’ issues and provide them with the right kind of counseling.
Family Therapist’s Training
Some frequent problems a family therapist has to deal with include: grieving, infertility, LGBTQ problems, depression, stress and anxiety, substance addiction, offending behavior, and marital issues.
Even though almost all therapists have their unique ways of treating their patients, every therapist follows some standard practices. These include identifying and evaluating the client’s relationship issues, observing pupil interaction, and suggesting healthier alternatives to dysfunctional or psychotic actions/behavior.
Therapists usually need to undergo an extensive amount of training before they become eligible for their title. It requires some level of formal education and testing. Therapists typically have up to a master’s degree in either clinical psychology, family, or counseling, followed by a two-year supervised work experience.
You would be surprised to see the range of options available to study within the field of therapy at both the undergrad and grad levels. Nearly all colleges/universities offer degrees in therapy-related fields like psychology, family development, and more.
With the recent increase in online degree programs and a rise in the demand for virtual classes, human development and family studies online degree programs witness significant enrollment. This way, national and international regions get a chance to avail themselves of the quality learning platform.
Psychotherapy and therapy are the same things. However, there is a clear distinction between counseling and psychotherapy. Counseling is the therapy where talking is involved. It’s usually opted for lighter cases than psychotherapy, which works for more complicated issues.
Stress, anxiety, or irregular behavior are issues that can get resolved through counseling. However, diagnoses like clinical depression or, more concerning, mental and behavioral problems in family members will require psychotherapy treatment.
Other Types Of Family Therapy
Therapy is further broken down into many different branches, each serving its purpose.
Transgenerational therapy is when therapists note a particular behavior pattern in family generations, i.e., grandparents, parents, and children. They then offer treatment accordingly.
Structural therapy is when therapists focus on family structure and attempt to solve problems within the family hierarchy rather than certain behaviors.
Multisystemic therapy involves overcoming issues concerned with children and adolescents. It usually involves emotional and behavioral issues.
Lastly, strategic family therapy is a sort of intervention that tries to improve interaction and communication among family members.
Benefits Of Family Therapy
Family therapy aims to bring the family together in times of difficulty. Families sit together with a therapist to talk about their issues and concerns. It helps them install trust and honesty within family members while improving communication. After all, family therapy is all about building boundaries and ending conflicts amongst the family members. It is an ideal way to regain each other’s trust while leaving personal issues behind.
As a result, the family members are likely to develop a greater sense of empathy for each other. Family therapy can also vastly improve a family’s problem-solving skills and maintain a supportive mindset for each family member.
Certain practices are proven beneficial in overcoming many family problems and can also be a life-changing push for you to start with family therapy.
The family gift is an exercise where all family members sit together and decide upon a single present that every family member would like. It is an excellent exercise for improving communication and interaction.
The mirroring activity is when a family member tries to copy another member and predict what his/her next move will be. Children significantly benefit from exercises like these.
The miracle question is when therapists ask clients to imagine a scenario where a miracle occurred in which their life just got better. So now, what are the things they would want to get better? The answer is likely to help the therapist develop a treatment for the patient. In contrast, the exercise helps the patient envision a brighter, positive future.
These exercises can be practiced with the presence of a therapist or on your own as a family. Either way, they are likely to be great exercises to improve dialogue and communication within your family.
The main aim of family therapy is to enhance positive relations and family dynamics. Since family therapy is a vast field, each problem might require a different therapy treatment. Thus, whenever you face any conflict within your family, the best solution is to visit a therapist and let her/him decide on the treatment.