Family therapy is useful to help step families and blended families to make necessary transitions such as living in two places and the birth of new siblings. New family rules and rituals can be developed.
Does your family feel fractured and disconnected?
- Do your children argue with most instructions you give them?
- Do all rules seem negotiable?
- Are you blaming yourself?
- Do you and your spouse disagree on how to be a good parent?
- Are the needs of the children, work, personal pursuits consuming your marriage?
- Are you unsure about how to help a child or a member of your family?
- Some problems family therapy can be useful to resolve
Family therapy can help to address a whole range of parent and child issues including:
- Defiant behaviors
- Academic problems
- Divorce/separation transitions
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Self-mutilating behaviors
- Separation anxieties
- ADHD and other concentration problems
- Autism and Asperger’s Syndromes
- Eating Disorders
- Social and relationship problems
- Mood swings
- Anger outbursts
Family sessions can assist in sibling issues related to the above problems, and help parent’s to address parent skills that would produce beneficial results to their children’s problems. It may also benefit parents who are having difficulty with supporting one another and have different parenting styles or philosophies.
Why we sometimes don’t consider family therapy
Sometimes, the issues that are causing distress can be resolved by the inclusion of family members in treatment. Often, I have observed that people are hesitant to include family members because they assume that the family member(s) are not interested in joining the client or participating in therapy. I have found that this is sometimes true and sometimes not true, and people can be surprised.
Everyone feels some amount of anxiety when coming to therapy, and family members who are invited to attend but did not initiate their own attendance at counseling are often fearful that their feelings will not be addressed and they will be criticized or judged, and are especially reluctant to attend. I encourage clients to invite family members to sessions to help resolve problems in a safe environment.