Family Therapy is based on the belief that the family is a unique social system with its own structure and patterns of communication. These patterns are determined by many things, including the parents’ beliefs and values, the personalities of all family members, and the influence of the extended family (grandparents, aunts, and uncles). As a result of these variables, each family develops its own unique personality, which is powerful and affects all of its members.
Any change in one member of the family affects both the family structure and each member individually.
For those families seeking support, Emmaus’ family specialized therapists offer varied techniques and therapeutic approaches to work with their families to enhance their lives as a family unit.
How Family Therapy Helps
- Teaches family members about how families function in general and, in particular, how their own functions.
- Helps the family focus less on the member who has been identified as ill and focus more on the family as a whole.
- Helps to identify conflicts and anxieties and helps the family develop strategies to resolve them.
- Strengthens all family members so they can work on their problems together.
- Teaches ways to handle conflicts and changes within the family differently.
We can help families who are struggling with
- The parents have conflict within their relationship.
- A child has behavior or school problems.
- Children or teens have problems getting along with each other.
- One family member has a long-term (chronic) mental illness or substance abuse problem, such as severe depression or an alcohol use problem.
- Family therapy can also be useful before problems begin. Some families seek this type of therapy when they anticipate a major change in their lives. For example, a man and woman who both have children from previous marriages may go to family therapy when they marry to help all family members learn how to live together.
The concepts of family therapy can also be used in individual therapy sessions and are very helpful for people who come from families in which there is illness and/or other problems. Adults who lived in poorly functioning families as children may benefit from individual therapy using family therapy concepts.