It is through our family that we first develop how we view our self, others and the world. As children look to their parents they learn what it means to be a woman, a man, a mother, a father, etc. The family is the primary influence and system through which all else develops. The relationships that are established within a family are a vital determinate of psychological health.
Family’s today are faced with a number of stressors including divorce and remarriage, depression, sexual abuse, substance abuse, and simply balancing the stress of life with the time that a family needs to connect. Family counseling is designed to assist family’s in identifying the sources of conflict and learning healthy ways to solve problems and communicate.
The first one to two sessions of family therapy will include all members of your family and will be spent obtaining background information and establishing goals for counseling. As the counseling process progresses the therapist may request to meet with some or all of the family members in individual sessions. The therapist will be most interested in the dynamics of the family relationship and how each person in the family unit relates and communicates with one another. The therapist can act as a referee or as a catalyst to open and honest communication. The therapist may assign homework to each family member between sessions to be done independently. The average length of family therapy varies anywhere from five to twenty sessions.
It is important that your family feels comfortable and trusts the therapist that you see. For this reason, if at any time you do not feel like the therapist is meeting the goals or expectations you have it is important to address this with your therapist. Having these conversations can be difficult and/ or uncomfortable but are vital in ensuring that you and your family are receiving the best treatment possible.