What Is Family Therapy?
Change is constant in family relationships as members grow up and age. Therefore, at different stages, the emotional and psychological needs of the family change in tandem. These transformations can sometimes become very difficult to navigate. Every family experiences periods of strain that can lead to members of the family unit growing apart. Even those close to each other can struggle to connect if their communication style is explosive and confrontational. Such problems get magnified when a mental illness or substance abuse gets injected into the dynamic.
Family therapy involves working with a professional who is trained to help you create healthy boundaries and connections with family members.
Family Therapy With Kids
New parents, strained from sleeplessness, sometimes need help to adjust to life with a new baby in the house. This is also true when an adoptive child is introduced into the mix. Similarly, time-strapped young couples, balancing their careers with kids, seek family therapy to improve their parenting skills. Anxiety, meltdowns and temper tantrums common in toddlers and school-aged children can inject tension in relationships between couples who are trying their best to keep it together.
Marital breakdowns bring unique challenges to family life. Divorced single parents, muddling with their own emotions, may find themselves unable to cope with their children. And remarried couples often need help to improve the dynamics of a blended family with children from different partnerships, along with interactions with former spouses.
All these situations are much easier to manage with a therapist who understands the underlying mechanics of human emotions at different life stages.
Dealing with Teenagers
In some families, bickering between parents creates “triangulation” in the family system. Here, a child ends up forming an emotional alliance with one parent. They exhibit their own emotions by acting out to distract the parents from their fighting. This can manifest itself into an eating disorder, for example, to cope with internalized anxiety. In such instances, we would assign one therapist to work with the parents and another to the child for one-on-one help. Both therapists team up to ensure the entire family heals and reaches harmony.
Family Therapy for Adult Relationships
Children are not the only catalyst for family stress. Caring for the elderly can bring bitter dissensions to an otherwise harmonious household. Parents, who have raised and advised you all their lives, may not be ready for role reversals. Family therapy helps you with strategies to communicate respectfully and non-condescendingly with ageing parents.
Types of Family Therapy
With such a vast array of constellations seeking family therapy, clinicians must first assess each situation before prescribing a therapy plan. System’s Based Family Therapy is a popular form of counselling developed by Murray Bowen in the 1950s. He considered families an entity with many moving parts that contribute to the larger dynamic. Changes in one section affect the overall pattern of communication and behaviour of the unit. For example, a mother and son in therapy for their conflicts will discover that their improved communication shifts the interactive style of the entire family. This results in reduced tensions all around with everyone becoming a little gentler with one another.
Emotion-Focused Family Therapy is another popular approach used by therapists. It focuses on how emotions underscore family connections and makes caregivers “emotion coaches” to their loved ones.
Transformational Systemic Therapy (STST), also known as the Satir method, is designed to improve communication within the family structure by looking at individual behaviour, feelings and perspectives as they relate to that person’s position within the family.
At Beaches Therapy Group, our trained therapists can tap into these and numerous other approaches to help you. We acknowledge and support each family member to heal dysfunctional patterns which undermine the health and happiness of your unit.
Seeking Family Therapy
Nobody likes to publicize deep personal problems, like strife in the family. Facebook and Instagram capture family life at its best. But those happy images can leave you feeling discontented about the state of your own family. The truth is, these are simply snapshots in time. Relationships are neither neat, perfect nor easy all the time. Your family is like millions of others.
Unresolved problems accumulate like layers of silt. Over time, they become deep-rooted with the potential to span generations. Family units become disconnected when individuals do not discuss, understand or deal with their emotions and feelings. When left to escalate, estrangement sets in. This downward spiral is unnecessary and avoidable with professional intervention early in the process.
Contacting us for help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is the first courageous step in your journey to healing. Beach Therapy Group has helped hundreds of families resolve festering problems. We have healed emotional wounds and prevented needless grief. We are compassionate, qualified and skilled to give your family the personalized attention you need. The first consultation with us is always free and will be scheduled over the phone. It will help us understand your situation and allow us to formulate a customized therapeutic plan for you. Your therapist will explain the process and we encourage you to ask as many questions as possible to alleviate any doubt that we are the right team for you.
Fees for Family Therapy
Therapy fees are one reason why some families avoid seeking help, and we understand this, completely. Here’s how we charge for our time. We are happy to have a frank and open discussion with you about this to ensure we manage your care in the best way possible. Our services are covered by most extended benefit insurance plans. If you do not have coverage, we also offer affordable therapy sessions at discounted rates through our internship program. Therapy is an investment in your health and happiness and it is more affordable than common belief.
Also, our blogs, authored by professionally trained therapists, are available for free on our website. We publish them regularly and feature topics that are useful for individuals, couples and families. We encourage you to visit our site often. In many cases, this information will help you understand what you are experiencing. However, our blogs do not constitute professional advice, diagnosis, treatment or therapy. You must always consult with a physician, psychologist or qualified mental health provider to professionally direct your physical, mental and emotional health.
Often a few targeted therapy sessions may be all you require. We never keep you in therapy for longer than you need. To accommodate varying schedules we offer online and in-person therapy sessions during office hours, evenings and weekends.