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Why Family Therapy?

Why family therapy?

Whether recognized or not, family therapy is essentially a part of a person’s life recovery and healing process. 

Mental health has social roots. And family is basic. You deny or ignore it, you skip an important foundation.

In the life of the family, each member contributes to its balance – overtly and covertly. Usually, it’s detectable in the family’s circular, repetitious, or predictable communication patterns.

family in crisis and therapy
why family therapy?

It’s too sad when we hear children developing dangerous addictions even at a very young age. And it’s due to family imbalances or pathology.

“My parents are disconnected. We never eat together, go out together, vacation together. My brother and sister are also unavailable,” cried a 13-year-old boy who fell prey to online gay sites for unhealthy sexual alliances.

In dealing with families, we need to understand how they operate. 

Psychologists developed family “framework models.” They’re a system for viewing the family.

Unlike doing therapy with individual persons, it is the family that is the patient or client.

Let’s take a look at some of these “why family therapy?” models that a therapist and family can employ to heal:

1. INTERGENERATIONAL – problems are passed on from one generation to another until resolved 

2. CONTEXTUAL – focus is on give and take of family members, fulfillment and entitlement, fairness, family ledger (accounting of debits and credits)

3. STRUCTURAL – family as a social organization with structure and distinct patterns 

4. STRATEGIC – focuses on problem definition, resolution, and active intervention

5. COMMUNICATIONS – focus is on communications in the family with emphasis on reciprocal affection and love

6. SYSTEMIC – involves multidimensional thinking and use of paradox (tactics that appear opposite but designed to reach goals)

“When one person in a family (the patient) has pain which shows up in symptoms, all members are feeling this pain in some way.” — Family Therapist Virginia Satir


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