Posted on April 07, 2020
Therapy is all about strengthening bonds, understanding self, and healing old wounds. It’s traditionally practiced on an individual level, but treatment is also often provided to a group. Sometimes the most effective way to help an individual is to treat the entire family structure to address larger, more complex issues. Attending therapy as a larger unit can also help a family confront and heal from trauma together, as well as prepare and deal with major structural shifts. If extended family is willing to enter therapy and do the work together, it can be immensely beneficial for everyone involved. Sold on family therapy? Try using a therapy matching service like Advekit to find the therapist best suited to your family’s needs.
If you aren’t sure if family therapy is suited for you, read on to learn the benefits of family therapy.
Family therapy has many benefits, but the main ones are:
Family therapy, or family counseling, is designed to address specific issues that affect the psychological health of the family, such as major life transitions or mental health conditions. This type of therapy may be used as the primary mode of treatment or as a complementary approach. Family plays an important role in our emotional, physical, and spiritual development since each individual in the family system impacts and is impacted by others like a domino train. For example, one person’s illness can change the lives and interactions of all the other family members. Every individual is a product of the environment they grew up in, so bringing the whole family together can be extremely beneficial to get the full picture of an issue that needs conflict resolution.
If you’re experiencing unrest or tension within the context of the entire family, it might be worth considering seeking treatment together. Even if only one member of the family is experiencing the issue directly, all may be impacted. Family therapy might be the right choice for you if you’re looking to:
If you’re wondering what to expect from therapy for your entire family, this will vary for everyone. Depending on the needs and goals of the family, multiple combinations of family members may participate in each therapy session. The family therapist may give family members assignments to address challenges identified during a session. Though family therapy typically brings several family members together for group sessions, a family member may also see a family therapist individually to work through familial issues.
You can expect a family therapy session to last about 50 minutes to an hour. The duration of the entire treatment is often short term, about 12 sessions. However, how often you meet and the number of sessions you'll need will depend on your family's particular situation and the therapist's recommendation.
Over the course of treatment, you can expect to:
Anyone seeking a healthier, closer family relationship can benefit from family therapy. Family therapy is used to treat a wide range of conditions but studies show that family therapy is particularly important for adults and adolescents struggling with addiction, substance abuse, eating disorders, and other emotional and behavioral issues. Some mental health programs offer a family therapy component while a loved one is in treatment and also encourage each family member to pursue individual therapy. When the whole family grows, each individual member benefits. Wondering how to find a therapist for your family? Whether it’s your blended family, extended family, or immediate family, Advekit is here to help! Get matched with a mental health professional in our network.
If you’re looking to also take up therapy on a personal level, learn more about the benefits of therapy for personal growth!
Alison LaSov, LMFT
Alison LaSov is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with experience treating clients struggling with anxiety and depression. She predominantly focuses on mental health intervention for children and adolescents, particularly those who are in crisis. She has worked within the Los Angeles education system treating students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), as well as supervised a non-profit Teen Crisis Hotline out of Cedars-Sinai Hospital. Alison earned her B.A. from UCLA and M.A. from Pepperdine University. She is a native to Los Angeles and co-founder at Advekit.