Family therapy is a type of group therapy in which the participants are related, in a relationship or who form a supportive family-like network. Family therapy draws on the inherent strengths of families in order to improve communication and support one another’s recovery.
Regardless of the specific concerns brought up in family therapy, one of the therapist’s goals is to make sure everyone is fully supported. The behaviors of each family member inevitably have an effect on other family members. Family therapy is the ideal setting to explore these dynamics in a safe and productive environment.
Family therapy is useful in situations where communication between two or more people could be improved, and also where a family’s full cooperation and understanding of a treatment plan is important for the success of an individual.
Many people in recovery from substance use disorders enroll in family therapy in order to mend relationships that may have been damaged or taken for granted while they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. For parents, this may mean learning how to reconnect with children, set boundaries, and find ways to give and receive support. For spouses and partners, this may mean repairing the relationship, working through specific events that continue to cause friction, and learning to take on healthy roles and responsibilities and follow through with them.
In family therapy, everyone has an opportunity to ask questions or to raise concerns. This promotes healing since issues can be resolved more quickly with thorough and immediate support.
Family therapy is also beneficial when everyone in the family is willing to participate and explore their relationships with the goal of improving the family’s overall functionality. Each person grows stronger by healing as a unit.
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