What is family therapy?
Family therapy is a type of counseling that helps families deal with conflict mediation, communication, anger management, and other relational skills. It focuses on the family system, not just on individual family members.
When we address the root causes of mental health challenges by caring for the family as a whole, we can identify a more sustainable path to healing.
A critical connection
Family therapy can help family members better relate to each other, resolve difficult issues, and cope with big life challenges. It can also help you better understand your loved ones’ emotions, behaviors, and problems. In focusing on the entire family system, obstacles can be overcome together.
The challenges family therapy can address:
Family therapy is a core component of our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and by supporting families as a unit, we provide the essential tools and skills needed to better understand, connect, and forge a path towards wellbeing.
Substance use disorders
Death of a loved one
Major life transitions (new move, new job or school, divorce, etc.)
Conflicts over screen time, friend groups, or curfews
Problems between siblings or other family members
The strategies we create:
When families are stuck in conflict, there is rarely a simple answer or explanation. But the job of your family therapist is to help you develop a plan to address these issues.
Experience fewer outbursts and create more opportunities for problem solving
Learn to self-regulate and gain a sense of ownership over emotions
Develop a method for troubleshooting family struggles and understand which skills to draw upon when new problems arise
Begin to work with each other, instead of against each other
Practice active listening in order to create more trusting communication
Grow comfortable discussing challenges, discoveries, and accomplishments openly and honestly without withdrawing or reacting
Start your healing journey
From our first admissions call with you, we are focused on identifying the root causes of your struggles. We work with you and your family to process challenges, identify solutions, and grow together.
Major depression, melancholic depression, atypical depression, seasonal affective disorder, persistent depressive disorder
Dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia, psychosis, depersonalization-derealization disorder
Disruptive mood disorder, bipolar I, bipolar II, dissociative identity disorder, schizophrenia
ADHD, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, learning difficulties, developmental issues
Co-occurring anxiety disorders, co-occurring depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
Perinatal or postpartum mood disorder, anxiety disorder, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, impulsive personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive compulsive personality disorder, and histrionic personality disorder
Alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, amphetamines, cocaine, inhalants, hallucinogens, nicotine
FAQs for Family TherapySee All FAQs
What questions do family therapists ask?
- What brings you to therapy?
- Can you tell me about your family history?
- Who are the members of your family?
- How do you communicate with one another?
- How do you typically resolve conflicts?
- What are your goals for therapy?
What are the boundaries in family therapy?
Family therapy sessions are typically confidential, meaning that what is discussed in therapy is not shared with others outside of the therapy setting without the family’s consent.
- Respectful communication
Family therapists will encourage family members to communicate with each other in a respectful and non-judgmental way. They may set ground rules for communication in therapy sessions, such as avoiding blame and speaking from one’s own perspective.
- Clear roles and responsibilities
Family therapists may help family members to clarify their roles and responsibilities within the family and to establish clear expectations for how they will interact with one another.
- Healthy boundaries between family members
Family therapists may work with family members to establish healthy boundaries between them, such as respecting each other’s personal space and privacy and setting limits on how much they will rely on one another for emotional support.
- Respect for cultural and individual differences
Family therapists will work to understand and respect the cultural and individual differences that exist within the family and will help family members to appreciate and value these differences.
What are the goals of family therapy?
- Improve communication
- Build stronger relationships
- Identify and address problems
- Promote individual growth
- Enhance problem-solving skills
- Improve overall family functioning
What are four common family therapy techniques?
- Structural family therapy focuses on the patterns of relationships within the family, and how they influence behavior with the ultimate goal of improving the family’s overall functioning.
- Brief strategic family therapy emphasizes problem-solving and goal-setting while helping the family identify specific goals and develop a plan for achieving them.
- Narrative family therapy views problems as external to the family and emphasizes the importance of understanding the stories and narratives that families use to process their experiences.
- Attachment-based family therapy aims to help young people develop more secure attachments with their parents or caregivers by providing a safe and supportive environment for healing and growth.
What is the success rate of family therapy?
According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, about 90% of individuals who participate in family therapy report improvement in their emotional health, and over two-thirds report improvement in their physical health. Critically, studies have found that family therapy can be particularly effective in reducing symptoms of mental health issues in teens and young adults.