What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a type of group therapy used in treatment in which people who care for each other work with a clinician to learn how to communicate, understand, and support one another. A clinician will also support the client and their family in learning how to work through challenges together and support each other in their individual goals. Family therapy supports clients in forming deeper connections with loved ones and being healthier support systems to each other on the recovery journey.
Family therapy can help clients and their families with:
- Substance use disorder (SUD)
- Mental health disorders
- Interpersonal conflicts
Are There Different Types of Family Therapy?
There are several types of family therapy that can be incorporated to fit the needs of an individual and their family on your recovery journey. A clinician will work with the client and their family to address the issues impacting their relationships, including SUD and co-occurring mental health disorders.
Some of the different types of family therapy include:
Focuses on establishing roles within the family unit and creating strong boundaries
Helps clients work on recognizing and changing unhealthy reoccurring patterns in communication and interactions
Utilizes out-of-session homework to help clients see repeated patterns and build problem-solving skills
Supports clients in addressing and challenging traditions and belief systems on what is normal within the family
Family behavior therapy (FBT)
Helps clients learn to identify and manage triggers for unhealthy behaviors through communication
Acknowledges the impact generational pain has on family dynamics through conflict patterns spanning multiple generations
Family Therapy Activities
In family therapy, clinician use several different types of group activities to support the client and their family. Many of the activities used in family therapy support relationship-building, engagement, and conversation starters that make the process of dealing with complex topics less overwhelming.
Some examples of activities in family therapy include:
The miracle question
Helps clients understand each other’s hopes and dreams to better support each other
Engages clients in active listening and emotional expression
Supports clients in recognizing patterns of behaviors in their family across multiple generations
Help clients recognize and understand each other’s gestures and emotional expressions
Icebreaker to help clients become more comfortable with discussing complex topics
Helps clients understand what is important to their loved ones
Prompts teamwork and shows clients how they can overcome conflict and challenges together
Feelings hot potato
A fun way for clients to share thoughts, memories, or ideas with each other
Helps clinicians see the ways in which clients express emotions
Encourages clients to learn how their loved ones think about and express their emotions
Support self-awareness as clients reflect on the positive changes they have made over time in therapy
What Are the Benefits?
Family therapy can be a fundamental part of healing and recovery for both the client and their family. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the benefits of family therapy are intersectional, as the collaborative work done together can help with family conflicts, loss, mental health disorders, SUD, and co-occurring disorders. Outside of supporting clients and their families dealing with mental health disorders and SUD, family therapy can make positive connections that improve family dynamics for long-term healing.
Some of the ways family therapy can support individuals and their loved ones include:
- Strengthen overall relationships
- Set healthy boundaries
- Improve the way family members treat each other
- Build skills to work through challenges together
- Learn to cope with typical day-to-day stressors
- Improve interpersonal communication skills
- Learn to recognize and acknowledge each other’s emotions
- Deepen understanding of one another
- Learn how to support each other’s goals
Our loved ones are an important part of our identities. These relationships can play into our culture, beliefs, and values. Going beyond our genetics, our family is the group of people we look to for guidance and support as we navigate through life. When strain is placed on the family unit due to the stressors of both SUD and co-occurring disorders, emotional rifts can occur in these foundational relationships.
Research over time has found that family therapy can lead to better outcomes for those struggling with SUD and mental health disorders. Despite this potential, SUD has historically been viewed and treated as an individual’s problem to be dealt with in isolation. However, more recent studies continue to identify the significance that family relationships play in the recovery process. Through building new skills and coping strategies, and fostering healthy communication, family therapy can help the person in treatment and their family find support and healing together.
To learn more about how Emerge Recovery TX can support you and your loved ones, visit our Home page.
Family therapy can help you and your loved ones build communication skills, create healthier behavior patterns, and learn to support each other in long-term recovery for the whole family. At Emerge Recovery TX, you can reconnect with your family and friends as you build a life you are excited to live and share with them. Call us today at (737) 237-9663 to learn how family therapy can support you and your loved ones on your journey to recovery.