Frequently Asked Questions about Family and Couples Therapy:
- What is family therapy? What is couples therapy?
- Why do you do family therapy?
- When is couples therapy appropriate?
- Who comes to family therapy?
- What if the problem is one family member’s?
- How long does it take?
What is family therapy? What is couples therapy?
Family therapy is a dynamic gathering of the members of a family with the guidance of a Family Therapist. All family members may be invited to participate or pairs or even individuals. The family therapist is listening to discover ineffective or even destructive communication patterns, buried emotional grudges, and pain. Then new patterns, unearthed pain, and disappointments are all revealed and introduced to reset family balance. Couples therapy is the same structure but entails two people working toward improving their relationship.
Why do you do family therapy?
A common thread in western culture is being part of a family. For better or worse, we grow up in and emancipate from a family. Because we are human, it is not always perfect, supportive, or even healthy to be in some families. Family therapy is a structured and proven way to improve the circumstances within a family. The same is true for couples therapy.
When is couples therapy appropriate?
Couples therapy can be useful in almost any developmental stage of a relationship to improve communication and understanding when both have become bogged down or even counterproductive. Revealing buried feelings, learning new communication patterns, and enhancing connection all may lead to a stronger relationship. Non-romantic dyads – that is, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, siblings – also can benefit from couples style therapy.
Who comes to family therapy?
Any and all members of the family will be included in therapy, but are occasionally seen individually and in pairs to help in the discovery process. The goal is to hear each family member’s concerns and needs and to incorporate them into the solution to enhance family harmony.
What if the problem is one family member’s?
Occasionally, only one family member is struggling with a particular issue related to a very personal struggle but it would be rare that including family members for support would not be advisable at some point. Children’s therapeutic issues should always include ongoing parental feedback and support. Parents are the teachers and caretakers for children; therapists are coaches and guides for just a brief period.
How long does it take?
Family and couples therapies take only as long as they need to. It depends on the complexity and length of time the problems have existed, and the commitment of each family member/couple to make changes and find solutions.