What are the benefits of family therapy?

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy. It looks at the role of family dynamics and interpersonal relationships in family members’ wellbeing.

The goal is to identify and gently shift unhelpful patterns of interaction.

Family therapy removes the problem from the individual. In other words, it can take away a sense of blame or shame.

Family therapists look at a problem in the context of the whole family system. It also takes into account the systems around the family including school and extended family.

Even when the problem seems very individual – for example if a child is suffering from depression – the emphasis on not on their own role in maintaining the problem but on how systems around them are maintaining it. The child is never considered to have caused their problems.

Before therapy, families may be caught in recurring patterns of conflict or unhelpful communication cycles. Or, communication may be much less than desired.

Family therapy leads to not only a better understanding of recurring patterns and sources of tension, but actual strategies to adapt these patterns or resolve the sources or negativity.

 It can also help families create healthier boundaries, improve their “team” problem-solving skills, and develop a higher level of empathy for one another.