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How Can Family Psychotherapy Help?

The nature of family therapy varies widely based on a family’s needs. In some cases, parents may be in conflict over parenting strategies. In other cases, difficulties between parents may begin to impact children. In some cases a parent may be experiencing difficulty in their relationship with a child or adolescent. In still other situations, there may be conflict between adult siblings pertaining to value differences, caretaking decisions for elderly parents and other major decisions that may impact multiple family members.

Approaches to family therapy differ widely based on the nature of the difficulty. In cases involving children, an emphasis is often placed on helping parents cooperate around addressing the developmental and safety needs of children. In parent-child conflict, an emphasis is placed on revealing patterns of relating that may be impacting the parent and child’s needs for relational security. In situations involving adult siblings, an emphasis is placed on identifying common ground, and in assisting all parties in clearly and humanely expressing themselves around issues pertaining to the areas of disagreement.

The common denominator of most family therapy involves assisting family members to function in a developmentally healthy manner. For adults this means carefully balancing the needs of self and the needs of the family in a way that allows all to flourish. When children or adolescents are involved, this generally means ensuring that boundaries in the family allow for the children or adolescents to engage in the developmental tasks that precede advancement into adulthood as they maintain a sense of connection with the family.

Do you think family therapy might be right for you?