What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy coming out of systems theory, which is a discipline used to solve problems in relationships. The relationships can be between the parts of an engine, a school system or a family. It is particularly useful in the treatment of certain disorders, primarily those that are impacted by family interactions. Such disorders/circumstances include:
- Eating Disorders
- Marital problems
- Divorce counseling
- Substance abuse
- Depression or bipolar disorder
- Chronic health problems, such as asthma or cancer
- Grief, loss and trauma
- Parenting skills
- Emotional abuse or violence
- Financial problems
- Blended families
Therapists known as marriage and family therapists usually provide family therapy. These therapists provide the same mental health services as other therapists, simply with a specific focus — family relationships.
Family therapy can stand alone, when the problem stems from family interactions, or it can be supportive by helping family members cope when a family member has a serious problem such as a severe eating disorder or substance abuse.
In some cases, family therapy may be ordered by the legal system. Adolescents in trouble with the law may be ordered into family therapy rather than serving jail time, for instance. Violent or abusive parents are sometimes spared jail if they enter family therapy. Divorcing couples may also be required to attend family therapy to prevent emotional trauma to the children involved.
Who Should Consider Family Therapy?
Starting therapy with a family therapist can be one of the best things you do when your family is torn apart. You can heal emotional wounds, come to understand one another better and restore a sense of harmony you may not have felt for a long time.
Over the years, I have found that there are basically three things couples struggle with: money/career issues, childrearing problems and sexual dissatisfaction. And while the couple is not the family, dysfunction at the level of the couple almost always creates problems for other family members. Thus, even if I have been employed to work with a child, for example, I will monitor and at times focus on the parent’s issues, as it is their ability to work together effectively that will determine the emotional health and well being of their children.
My mission is to provide a warm and safe environment where the members of your family can get the help they need to establish and/or restore healthy relationships. It is my hope that the work we do dramatically improves the quality of your life and that of your loved ones.