About Family Therapy


Family Therapy

Family therapy views  person’s symptoms as taking place in  larger context   family. Without understanding that larger group and  complex, dynamic interactions that take place and how those interactions were formed, it may not be as easy to help  identified patient ( person with  “problem” that everyone else in  family is concerned about).

Just as  particular department in business organization may suffer because  problems in another department,  person with depression  may be responding to larger family issues.  Example,  depressed adolescent’s symptoms may be related to her parents’ marital problems. But if  therapist only saw  depressed teen, they may not share  greater family problems that could be an important part  their depression.

Family Cure is  psychotherapy style where cognitive, behavior or interpersonal  Family Cure may be employed. However, it is most often used with interpersonal Cure.

Some special techniques  family Cure include:

  • Genogram —  Genogram is  family tree constructed by  therapist. It looks at past relationships and events and what impact these have on  person’s current emotional technique.
  • Systemic Interpretation — Views depression as  symptom   problem in  larger family.

Example, 16-year-old Billy’s getting into trouble in school and staying out at night are viewed as unconscious attempts to shore up his parents’ failing marriage. It is noted in  sessions that  only time his parents get long and work together as  team is when they are dealing with Billy’s problems.

  • Communication Training — Dysfunctional communication patterns within  family are identified and corrected. People are taught how to listen, ask questions and respond non-defensively.

Family therapy takes cooperation and  willingness to participate on part  all  family members.  Single holdout or someone who “doesn’t see  point  it” could make family therapy little less effective. Even if only part   family can attend, family therapy can be  very powerful therapeutic modality that can lead to more lasting and quicker changes than individual psychotherapy alone.

While not as often practiced as individual psychotherapy, family therapy can be especially effective with children, as often the problems are inter-related with what is going on in  family at  moment. Child’s problems rarely exist in vacuum, so how  family reacts to  child is important.

Family therapy can seem particularly scary as families don’t want to “air their dirty laundry” in front others. All families keep “family secrets” that aren’t generally shared outside  family. Family therapy may shed light on some unwanted areas in  family, which can be threatening to particular family members who may feel vulnerable or attacked.

Family therapy is generally conducted in  safe and supportive environment once  week in  therapist’s office. Look  therapist who has specific family therapy training, specialization, and experience (more than 5 years is preferred, but usually  more,  better). While it’s not  everyone, family therapy may be  psychotherapy modality worth trying.