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Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling that is designed to help improve the interactions of individuals within the family unit, improve the overall wellness of the family, and change patterns of dysfunction. Family therapy is based on family systems theory, which is a theory of human behavior. Family systems theory views the family as a living, complex social system, rather than the sum of its individual members. Family therapy uses systems theory to evaluate family members in terms of their position or role within the family system. Rather than blaming a single member of the family for its problems, issues are treated by identifying, addressing, and shifting the way the entire family system functions. Family therapy promotes understanding and collaboration among family members. It can be helpful in any family situation that causes stress, anger, grief, and/ or conflict. Although the specific objectives for family therapy are unique to each family, and may change over time, five of the most common goals of family therapy include:

    1. Exploring the interactional dynamics of the family and its relationship to psychopathology
    2. Restructuring the maladaptive interactional family styles:
      1. Facilitate cohesion and improving communication
      2. Develop and maintain healthy boundaries
      3. Build empathy and understanding
    3. Strengthening the family’s problem-solving behavior
    4. Mobilizing the family’s internal strength and functional resources
  • Creating a more stable and better functioning home environment 

Through family therapy, family members have an emotionally safe environment to address specific issues that may be interfering with the functioning, cohesiveness, and/ or health of the family unit. When family relationships are stable and supportive, they can have positive effects on one’s mental health, as they can provide resources that can help a family member learn to cope with stress, engage in healthier behaviors, and cultivate improved self-esteem. In a healthy family unit, family members can rely on each other for emotional support, economic support, and companionship. Family therapy can illuminate and correct dysfunctional family patterns and work to disintegrate unhealthy family dynamics. It can improve communication skills, increase family cohesiveness, and strengthen family relationships. 

Further Information and Support

For most of us, life can be very stressful, leading us to feel emotionally charged, which can cause anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and getting stuck in a cycle of being burdened with negative thoughts. Navigating through the challenges and emotional turmoil of life can be overwhelming, but you do not have to go through it alone. Engage Treatment is a Joint Commission Accredited professional psychological practice. We specialize in treating children, teens, and young adults struggling with depression and anxiety through community-focused treatment plans that incorporate a carefully selected combination of therapeutic interventions. Our compassionate, multidisciplinary practitioners are devoted to providing the highest quality of care that helps ignite positive change and enables clients to reach optimal health and well-being. Please do not hesitate to reach out for guidance. We are happy to answer questions and provide you with any additional information. Feel free to call us at 805-497-0605 or email us at [email protected]. You are also welcomed to get in touch by filling out our contact form. We look forward to connecting and having the opportunity to discuss how we might best be able to support you.

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