A traditional family unit consists of a dad, mom and kids. These days, however, the rules have totally changed. Divorced parents, both of whom have kids, may remarry and live in the same house to form a combined family. A single parent or same-sex couples with a kid may also form a family unit. With such complex relationships, it could be that you would need the services of a family therapist at one point or another.
As the name implies, a family therapist is a psychotherapist who specializes in dealing with family-related issues. If there are therapists who specialize in offering counselling for individual patients and couples, family therapists seek to bring out in the open issues which are hounding an entire family unit.
Let’s say that the parents of a family are currently going through divorce proceedings. This could have dire emotional effects on the kids, which is where family therapy proves to be useful. Through it, both the parents and kids will be given enough time to air their feelings and sort them out in an environment that’s conducive to addressing such issues. With the help of the exercises to be given by the family therapist, healing and moving on can begin despite the divorce.
Issues Addressed by Family Therapy
To have a deeper understanding of how family therapy (or effektive parterapi as we say in Denmark) can help sort out family problems, here are a few more issues which therapy sessions can help address:
When kids have a generational gap or problems communicating with their parents, such issues should be addressed immediately before they get worse.
Not every parent knows how to deal with kids who have learning disabilities. Through family therapy, both the child and the parents will benefit by knowing what will help improve the cognitive, emotional and social development aspects of the affected child.
Perhaps one of the most common issues that families in the US deal with is divorce. This is in addition to the marital problems which are a typical part of the relationship. When kids see their parents fighting most of the time, this will also have an emotional effect on them and family therapy sessions can help them cope with it.
Lifestyle changes due to chronic medical illnesses, abuse, alcoholism, sibling rivalry, child rearing differences, adoption concerns, death in the family, eating disorders, peer pressure – the variety of issues that family therapy can help address is wide.
What’s important to know is that it is only once you recognize that such problems exist that healing can begin. Whatever issues are clouding your relationship in the family as a whole there is no shame in seeking the help of a professional family therapist who can help you sort through the gamut of emotions and problems that you have.