The aim of family therapy is to ensure that all members of the group are operating in a functional and positive way. If there are any problems creating pressures within the unit, either psychological, emotional or mental, the whole family may fall apart or suffer damage. It is the role of the family therapist to resolve these problems, handling them in a professional way so that a functional group comes together and operates in a way that ensures the well-being of all included.
Ways in which family therapy can help
Generally, the role of the therapist will vary according to the wants and needs of the clients involved. Here are just a few example scenarios where a family therapist may need to assist:
- A member of the family has a severe mental problem such as schizophrenia – the role of the therapist will be to enable other members of the family what the condition involves and how they can adapt to help the patient deal with the illness.
- Grandparents moving into the home to live with their children and grandchildren – here communication will need to be improved and defined boundaries put in place for others to follow.
- A gay couple adopting a child – whilst there may not be any specific internal issues to deal with, the family may need help from a family therapist to deal with factors outside the unit such as the attitudes of society in general.
- A marriage between a couple from mixed religious, racial or cultural backgrounds – if problems develop then the family therapist will work to help them to understand each other, developing their relationship in a positive way.
- A member of a family is being treated like an outcast due to personal problems such as addiction – it will be important for the other members to develop more empathy and understanding, supporting the individual who needs their help in order to continue with treatment.
- A client has problems that are rooted within the family unit as a whole – in this case the family therapist will need to identify and deal with each of the issues and resolve or lessen the effects upon the client as an individual.
- The family are blended i.e. there may be children belonging to both parents living together as step brothers or sisters – family therapy will be used to boost understanding and enable healthy relationships and interactions between all family members.
The goal of family therapy
The goal of family therapy is to ensure that the family works well as a group, no matter the obstacles they may have to face. Even small issues can grow if left unattended to, leaving members of the family feeling troubled and unable to cope.
If you have similar issues to those shown above, we can put you in touch with a professional family therapist. Fill in the information boxes on our website and we will provide you with details of therapists and counsellors in your area that can help.