What is family therapy? What does it include?
There is a famous saying, ‘A family that eats together, stays together.’ But do you spend enough time with the family? Or are you dealing with some issues? If yes, then you must opt for family therapy or family counseling. You must be wondering what this therapy is. It aids in addressing certain problems, which can affect the family’s health and functioning.
With a trained counselor by your side, you can definitely get through the major transitions of your life, mental health problems, or behavioral issues, and most of all, improve your connections with a family member or loved one. Read further to know the types of family counseling or therapy included and their benefits.
What are the types of family therapy?
There are several types of family counseling theories that are included as a part of the therapy. Some of them are listed below.
- Structural therapy: Structural therapy was developed by Salvador Minuchin, and the main focus of this theory is based on five specific principles. One of the five principles includes the therapist focusing on the conversations between people rather than each individual.
The second principle is the matrix of identity, where the therapist seeks to interact with the family personally. The third principle focuses on the structure of the family, which depends upon social interactions.
The fourth principle is a well-functioning family where the therapist learns about the family’s development and response according to the family’s needs. The fifth principle includes the position of the family counselor, whose duties and responsibilities are to help the family to outgrow specific restrictive patterns and develop into a stronger entity together.
- Strategic therapy: This therapy has developed from different practices of psychotherapy. There are five various parts or stages to strategic therapy. They are the brief social stage, problem stage, conversational stage, goal-setting stage, and task-setting stage.
- Narrative therapy: Narrative therapy allows the individual or a family member to address the family problem on their own, which eventually minimizes little everyday issues. The narrative theory aims to help family members create personal stories, navigate life, and identify values and skills with proper tools. The role of the counselor is clarifying, developing, and supporting the individual members of the family.
- Transgenerational therapy: The therapist examines the family members across multiple generations through their conversations. This evaluation helps the therapist to understand the core problems of the family. However, the current issues are addressed, and future struggles or stressful situations come to light. The transgenerational therapy concepts are used regularly along with the other therapies.
- Communication therapy: Many family issues occur due to a lack of communication between the individuals. Some communication problems include differences in personal experience and varied cultural backgrounds.
Trauma, secrecy, mental health problems only add to more communication issues. The counselor or the therapist addresses these problems by helping the family members with strategies to improve their communication skills and ability. Some of the strategies include opening lines of communication, active listening, and so forth.
- Psychoeducation and relationship counseling: Some family members may require a safe place to vent, medication and treatment support, transfer of information, and so on. That’s when psychoeducation comes across as a strong tool.
Sometimes stress or boredom can add strain to the relationship. Some couples face trust issues, emotional distancing, financial difficulties, and sexual intimacy. The counselor helps the couples work things out and decide whether to move on or be together.
What are the benefits of therapy for your family?
Although family therapy sessions depend upon the family or the situation, the average number of sessions is about 5 to 20. This therapy is beneficial for families because it enhances their communication, improves problem-solving, reduces conflict, and helps better anger management. It also helps in improving relationships by forgiving each other, developing a supportive family environment, conflict resolution, instilling trust within the members, and bringing the isolated family members back.