Family is where we learn to become members of society, where we experience our first emotions and learn how to interact in relationships. Family is our first playground, the parents our first role models, and the relationship between the family members influence our “start” on the path called life. What we learn from the family dynamics carries us forward into society, in our relationships with others and with the groups we choose to be a part of. We develop during our interactions with other family members, and our first concept about the world is based on this relationship. After we are born we become part of a group, and this first group is our family, whether it is natural or adoptive. We learn to relate for the first time with family members. During kindergarten and school, we develop new relationships with our colleagues, and later, at work, we learn how to be part of a professional team.
Family problems are common and most often are caused by an inability to communicate between members. Family psychotherapy sessions foster mutual understanding and eliminate tensions.
Very often people do not pay enough attention to emerging problems, avoid discussing their feelings, and bring reproaches to one another, thus reaching confusing emotional and unpleasant situations.
Most conflictual situations in the family appear when violence is involved, when the family is grieved by the death of a member, when spouses get a divorce or when family members cannot agree on certain decisions, especially due to lack of communication. Situations like these, when family ties seem to weaken, special help is needed to mediate the conflict and restore balance.
Family therapy is recommended when problems between family members appear. Children are most often affected by this unhealthy family environment, developing specific disorders such as bedwetting, anorexia, behavioural disorders, tics, stuttering. These disorders occur among children at the age when family support is very important, and its proper functioning can make a difference in a child’s future relationships outside the family.
Problems that can be addressed therapeutically refer to:
- poor communication
- creating alliances between certain family members and excluding other members of the family
- inadequate reversal of roles within the family (parented children or infantilized adults)
- boundaries within the family dynamic and how to implement them
Family psychotherapy is a process that takes place in a safe and non-judgmental environment, which ensures confidentiality, and where, together with a specialized therapist, family members can:
- improve their communication
- identify the positive aspects of the family
- find out what are the needs of each family member
- establish a healthy family dynamic
- resolve conflicts
- improve relationships between partners, children and/or other family members
- take responsibility for themselves
During family psychotherapy sessions, its members can address sensitive issues that occur within the family system, without fear of being judged.
When do you need family therapy?
You should resort to family therapy when certain conflict situations occur, and they can be resolved only by a family therapy specialist, with thorough training and in-depth knowledge in the field.
It is advisable to seek therapy when the family is confronted with:
- poor communication between family members
- disagreements between parents and children
- parents separation, divorce
- periods of crisis: serious illness of a family member, addiction to substances, mental disorders
- any other difficulties that affect more than one family member
- death of a family member
Family therapy is also recommended when there are tensions accumulated over time between members of a family, often due to poor communication but also due to arising problems, e.g. the struggle for power and domination, discipline or authority.
Family therapy is addressed to all members of the family: it involves the parents, but also their children and, possibly, may involve other members of the extended family.
What to expect from family psychotherapy?
Family psychotherapy takes place in a safe environment, along with a specialized psychotherapist, however, each family member can follow an individual psychotherapy process.
During family therapy sessions, the specialist can observe the family’s ability to solve problems. The therapist can also explore the behaviours of each member of the family while identifying the issues that contribute to conflict. Family therapy teaches techniques that help you work with these issues and helps identify family strengths and weaknesses.
The benefits of family therapy
Family psychotherapy can help you:
- set individual and family goals and discover ways to achieve them
- solve problems and challenges that have emerged within the family
- understand the patterns and dynamics that occur during a family conflict
- overcome less pleasant events or periods in family life
- (re)gain trust in other family members
- establish and maintain healthy boundaries
The specialists provided by our web health guide are dedicated to offering the best treatments for your mental and emotional health, addressing family issues in the most effective way, adapted to the needs of each member and family. We help you get in touch with specialists in the UK, suitable for your needs