Psychologists attribute a person’s behaviors and attitudes to how they are brought up. People who have psychological problems tend to manifest because of childhood trauma such as parentectomy or parental alienation. Thus, building and establishing a healthy family starts with a firm decision to improve. One of the keys to rebuilding family connections is through therapy. There are several ways to do it; some go to a therapist online or go through conventional face-to-face therapy. No matter what the avenue, here are just some of the perceived benefits of therapy for rebuilding your family.
Family Therapy Vs. Individual Therapy: Knowing The Difference
Individual therapy focuses on how a person can cope with his existing conditions and improve his day-to-day life. Individual therapy mainly consists of talk therapy wherein the therapist will engage the client to talk about his life experiences and difficulties. The therapist would then recommend specific courses of action to the client. If necessary, the therapist also gives certain medications to the client to cope with anxiety or insomnia.
On the other hand, families who have been through long periods of emotional distress due to dysfunctional family members, financial problems, or sudden deaths may opt to go through family therapy. Judye Hess, Ph.D says that, “group therapy can be more powerful and mutative than individual therapy.” Family therapy is a long-term commitment to improving family dynamics and emotional conditions through the use of psychotherapy. Family therapists usually go for a more encompassing approach to therapy, as compared to individual therapists. Family therapists dig deep to uncover the family’s underlying causes for dysfunctionality.
“Family therapy says there are a number of people who are impacted by a problem, so everyone should work together and support the individual who has the problem,” explains Anthony Siracusa, PhD Families couldn’t be more different from one another. Each family has its idiosyncrasies and approaches to certain things. There is no cookie-cutter approach to family therapy. Thus, the therapist’s primary goal is to help the family rebuild itself by incorporating best practices into the family’s system.
Benefits Of Family Therapy
You already know the key differences between individual therapy and family therapy. But what will convince you to try family therapy? Here are several of the key benefits your family will enjoy.
- Build Better Lines Of Communication
Several families have trouble keeping their communication lines open. In this fast-paced world, it’s easier to text someone next door than talking to your father downstairs. Family dinners are becoming less frequent, with more spaces in between, as compared to about 30 years ago, when cellphones were not yet generally circulating in public. Building lines of communication take work. Sadly, a lot of families don’t put in much effort anymore. However, the bright side is that through family therapy, the therapist will walk you through the process of building better communication between and among family members.
2. Create Better Understanding Of Each Family Member
When you are born into a specific family system, you tend to grow up assuming that every family in the world works that way. However, as you grow older, you learn that that is not the case: every family has its system. In every family, each family member has a different role. That role may have not been communicated well to other members of the family. Other family members may have unmet expectations regarding other family members that could cause tension inside the family. For example, a child may have been building resentment towards a parent for failure to meet their expectations. Family therapists could act as a mediator during family therapy sessions.
3. Cope With Specific Issues Inside The Family
At times, there may be issues specific to the family that has remained shoved under the bed for years. If left unresolved, these issues may have resulted in unnecessary tension between family members. These issues can be very varied. It can include substance abuse, anger management issues, or self-harm. What the family therapist does at this point is to help the individual first cope with these issues, then the family comes in. The family should be able to act in concert to help that family member. In correcting bad habits, the family should be a person’s first line of support. Lynn Ponton, MD points out that,”Family therapy also helps create a sense of teamwork and reduce the sense of “it’s the child’s problem, not mine.”
Family therapy can be the best option for families in deep emotional turmoil. These troubled families may have long neglected their problems, to the detriment of their psychological health. When children are brought up in a problematic household, they tend to grow up as troubled and distressed adults. To break this cycle, family therapists can help families cope with their issues, help them understand their roles, and establish better lines of communication.