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What is Family Therapy?

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Family therapy is a psychological therapy that involves counseling close members of a family to resolve conflicts and help better understand one another. Sessions are held by a psychologist or a trained social worker. It is typically a short program and is often combined with other types of mental health treatment.

Necessity for Family Therapy

Your family therapist can help you solve the following issues:

  • Mental illness of a family member
  • Addiction to drugs or alcohol
  • School problems
  • Financial problems
  • Serious conflicts
  • Problems from the extended family
  • Negative behavior of children
  • Infidelity problems
  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce and shared custody of children
  • Situations causing stress, anger, or grief
  • Religious and cultural conflicts

Family Therapy Procedure

Finding a Family Therapist

Find an experienced family therapist that suits you. Discuss your needs, question him/her regarding the cost of each session, and if health insurance covers the program.


The family members participate in therapy sessions (about 12) each lasting for an hour. The sessions are conducted at regular intervals for several months. Your therapist interacts with each family member to understand the behavioral patterns that are causing conflict. For children with psychological problems, family therapy is combined with individual therapy.

Your therapist will teach you ways to overcome various issues that may include:

  • Understanding the needs of each family member
  • Improving ways of communication and avoiding unhealthy conversations
  • Set specific goals for the participating members
  • Work on building strengths
  • Achieve a sense of togetherness

Advantages of Family Therapy

The skills families can learn from family therapy include:

  • Listening and communicating
  • Respecting boundaries
  • Giving and asking help
  • Expressing empathy
  • Thinking before reacting
  • Using proper statements to avoid conflict
  • Controlling anger

Other Conditions and Therapies

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