Whether you or your loved one is dealing with trauma, an anxiety disorder, or another behavioral health issue, family therapy is a useful part of the healing process. Family involvement helps people get the love and support they need. In addition, it allows families to learn about their loved one’s challenges and ways they can help.
What are Family Therapy Sessions?
A family is like the human body. When one body part is affected, the rest of the body is impacted as well. Through family therapy, you can reduce stress and conflict by changing the interactions between family members.
This kind of therapy is useful for behavioral conditions because it helps a loved one learn different ways to react and how to overcome unhealthy patterns. Additionally, families can learn how to reduce problem behaviors together.
The frequency of family therapy sessions depends on your loved one’s needs and underlying disorder. Often, these therapy sessions will take place on a weekly basis after the patient has already made progress in their treatment. Depending on the individual, this may be several months after the start of their program.
How Does Family Therapy Work?
Family therapy can be set up in a variety of different ways. For instance, family members can use the session to talk about a sudden crisis or a problem they need help with. They may also want to talk about coping skills or ways they can communicate more effectively.
During the initial session, the therapist will normally keep all the family members together. Then, they will work to understand everyone’s goals. After working on specific problems during the session, the therapist may recommend homework for everyone to practice after they leave the family therapy session.
What if a Loved One is Unwilling to Participate in Family Therapy?
While it is easier to get help if everyone is on board with family therapy, this isn’t always the case. If someone doesn’t want to attend family sessions, you can use the following tactics to change their mind.
Stress the Benefits
You can start by discussing the ways you think family therapy will help you and your loved ones. If they understand why the session is important, the individual may be more likely to take part.
Be Sensitive to Scheduling
Sometimes, the biggest issue is fitting therapy into the individual’s schedule. Whenever possible, be sensitive to the time and location of the therapy session.
Explain How It Works
Try discussing the way the session is set up and what to expect. In some cases, individuals are hesitant about therapy because it’s new. When they know what to expect, the idea of going to therapy is less intimidating.
Let your loved one know you are there for them and want to support them. If they initially seem reluctant about therapy, you can also give them space and time to think it over.
Family Therapy Session Goals
While each family is different, there are a few goals families should have when they go to their first therapy session together.
In family therapy, loved ones can learn how to communicate effectively. They can also get rid of negative communication patterns, like defensiveness, stonewalling, or criticism.
Decrease Family Conflict
Therapy can help family members work through obstacles and challenges in a constructive way. Over time, therapy can encourage reconciliation and trust among family members.
Family members are unique individuals, so it can be hard to understand where each other is coming from. During therapy, families can become more empathetic about problems, goals, and points of view.
Overcome Family-Related Issues
After a divorce or parental conflict, therapy can help loved ones heal. It can also help following traumatic experiences, domestic violence, and the loss of a family member.
Discover How Family Therapy Can Help Your Loved One
Family therapy can help your loved one overcome mental health disorders, like anxiety, depression, trauma, and more. No one has to go through the treatment process alone. To learn more about how the Houston Behavioral Healthcare Hospital can help, reach out to us today. We are here for your support.