Essential Things to Know About Family Therapy
Psychological counseling aka psychotherapy, is available in several forms and family therapy is one of the subjects covered by psychological counseling. A psychologist, social worker or a licensed therapist will be engaged in providing the family therapy requested by individuals or families. These therapists are qualified individuals and have graduate or postgraduate degrees and may also be recognized by the AAMFT.
Family therapy is often conducted over the short term and may include all members of the family or just the individuals that are able or are willing to participate in the sessions. The specific treatment plan will depend on the kind of situation being faced by the family. The therapy sessions will teach the individual the skills needed to deepen family ties and overcome stressful times even after they are done with the therapy sessions.
Why Is Family Therapy Gaining Importance?
Family therapy can help individuals improve any covered relationships they are having with partners, family members and children. Individuals may address specific matters such as marital and financial problems, a conflict between children and parents, the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness which could be affecting the entire family.
The individual concerned may pursue family therapy with other members of the family particularly if a loved one is dealing with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. It must be understood that the person affected by schizophrenia must continue with his or her customized treatment plan which could include medications, individual therapy sessions and any other treatments.
With matters like substance abuse, the entire family can attend the family therapy even as the individual addicted participates in residential treatment. On occasions, family members of the addict may participate in the therapy sessions contrary to any objections which may have been raised by the addict.
Family therapy is beneficial in any family situation which is causing stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help the individual and their family members to understand each other better and to come closer to learning the kind of coping skills that are necessary.
How to Prepare For Family Therapy?
The individual must be asking his or her primary care doctor for a referral to a therapist. Recommendations may also be provided by family members and friends according to any experiences they may have. Help to obtain family therapy will also be available from the employee assistance program, clergy and local mental health agencies that may offer suggestions for therapists.
A referral or an introduction should not be considered as a certificate which authenticates the ability of therapist. The individual obtaining the therapy must also consider whether the therapist would be suitable for their family. Here are some factors to consider and questions to ask before scheduling sessions with the therapist:
– The individual is required to understand whether the therapist has received the education and has the experience to provide the therapy needed. Questions like is the therapist licensed by the state and has received recognition from the AAMFT and other professional organizations, does he or she have special training in family psychotherapy and their experience with the specific problem being dealt with by the individual, must be always asked.
– Location and availability are extremely important for the individual and therefore getting the exact location of the therapist’s office along with the office hours and understanding whether the therapist will be available during an emergency will also help.
– The individual must also make an attempt to understand the length and the number of sessions they would be required to undergo especially with the kind of situation they are dealing with.
– Getting information about the fees and whether the services provided will be covered by the individual’s insurance is also a necessity which should not be ignored.
What Can Be Expected From Family Therapy?
Sessions of family therapy generally bring together several members of the family. However, the option of making a therapist individually also exists for a member of the family.
A session of family therapy typically lasts for about 15 minutes to one hour. As mentioned earlier, family therapy is generally short-term and lasts for about 12 sessions. However, the situation of the particular family will determine the number of sessions needed which will be recommended by the therapist.
The therapy sessions will give the individual an opportunity to examine the ability of the family to solve problems by expressing thoughts and emotions in a productive manner and also identify the strengths of the family like caring for each other along with the weaknesses which could be in the form of difficulties in confiding with the family members.
During sessions of family therapy, the individual can explore family roles, rules and patterns of behavior in order to identify any issues which may be contributing to a conflict and understand how the issues can be managed effectively. Individuals that are facing difficulties of any kind within the family are advised to seek help from a family therapist because it will be a good way for them to manage issues within their family appropriately.
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