Did you know that there are multiple types of therapy? If you’ve been to therapy before, or if you’ve heard about it from a friend or loved one, you probably are familiar with individual therapy. That’s the common one-on-one style session between the client and the therapist. However if you’re considering therapy, that’s not your only option. Some other kinds of therapy include group therapy (multiple clients working with one or two therapists) and family therapy (multiple family members working with a therapist). You may be wondering, “Why should I consider family therapy?” or “Will this really help me or my teenager?” The therapists at Mindsoother are here to explain the benefits of family therapy.
What’s the value of family therapy, especially when working with a teen?
Kendra: “Family therapy is a great supplement to individual therapy. It’s a space to work on improving communication between the family members. It also helps parents better understand their child and learn how to support him or her. Family therapy allows everyone to work together to support the client.”
Brittany: “Sometimes teens come in with issues that are stemming from their home life. There could be dynamics at home that are creating additional stress. If we don’t address those issues, our work can only go so far. Plus, progress made in individual therapy could get undone if mom and dad are fighting or if someone in the family is abusing drugs or alcohol. When the whole family comes in for family therapy, we can discuss these topics as a group. Family therapy gives a fuller picture of what’s going on.”
Tessa: “I enjoy family therapy because it allows me to initiate change and help family members meet in the middle. Sometimes, change needs to be made in the family system as a whole. Family therapy provides an opportunity for everyone to improve. In family therapy, I model for the family how to communicate and how to validate each other; I also work on parent coaching. Everyone in the family learns skills to implement into their daily interactions at home.”
Danna: “Family therapy is very beneficial because it helps with the family dynamics. It teaches everyone in the family how to alter their reactions. Also, it’s a space for family members to hear each other out and learn ways to improve communication. Most importantly, it allows the family to work towards a common goal.”
Dana K.: “As a licensed marriage and family therapist, I see the value in family therapy on a daily basis. It’s a super valuable way to make a change; not just for the client, but for the entire family. This is especially beneficial for teens. Teenagers live with their parents and interact with them 24/7. Their problems don’t exist in a bubble separate from their parents; everyone’s doing something to contribute to the issue in one way or another. Family therapy provides the opportunity for maximum change, when everyone is able to talk to each other in a supportive space.”
Family therapy is a unique environment in which the entire family can come together to work through difficulties. It allows the therapist to observe family dynamics, giving him or her a more complete idea of what’s going on. Together, family members learn how to better communicate in order to support the client. It’s a valuable opportunity for any family to consider.