What are the aims and benefits of group and family therapy?
We are considered to be inter-relational beings. For that reason, it’s quite common family issues or inter-relational problems. We’re all born into a family whether it’s composed of blood relatives or adopted parents. Whether we can live in a healthy or unhealthy environment, It’s inevitably no to deal with a dysfunctional family once in a while.
The family is the first relationship or bond where we learn to interact with others, socialize and love. However, there are families that find it difficult to connect and it affects how each individual connects with peers or colleagues. If a member of the family group is going through difficult times such as substance abuse, eating disorder, a divorce, the death of a loved one, financial problems or any mental health problem; it also interferes in his/her relationships.
It’s impossible to pull apart personal issues from the family or other relationships. Any mental illness afflicts not only individuals but also the way she/he relates to others.
So as to revert this common situation, there are several treatments that aim to help the patient and the family through family or group therapies. For more information, visit BetterHelp.
In this way, the counsellor will work with the family to restore bonds and help them develop and maintain a healthy and functional family.
Family counselling is a therapy approach that works with dysfunctional families. The counsellor or psychologist addresses psychological, behavioural and emotional issues which may be the cause of family problems.
This form of treatment is designed to help the family who is going through a difficult time or even a major mental health issue. Family counselling treats the family as a large unit that can’t work properly if one of its members is unable to solve personal problems affecting the dynamic of the group.
This kind of treatment aims to work with the nuclear family and whoever may live in the house in order to heal the whole family group. If an individual is in some way ill, the family is as well since it’s an organized system in which everyone influences anyone. No individual is an isolated island.
Benefits of family therapy
It’s been proved that family therapy brings lots of benefits. This holistic approach treats family problems from within and benefits can be seen sooner or later depending on the family and their predisposition to cooperate with the counsellor. For some families, it only takes 10 months to see the benefits of counselling whereas others need between five to 10 years.
As therapy sessions move on, the family may experience an understanding of healthy boundaries, group dynamics, better communication among the family members, an improvement in problem-solving, deeper empathy, better anger management skills and realization no one is alone.
During family therapy, each member has the chance to express themselves. The therapist is a mere moderator where each individual is encouraged to talk to each other to give and receive support, give feedback and re-connect with each other.
Thanks to family therapy, the family group may improve its relationship by sticking together after a crisis, enhance trust in each other, be honest with the rest of the individuals, forgive each other for whatever may have happened and come back to the family if the individual has been apart for a long period of time.
Goals of family therapy
The main objective of family therapy to heal any emotional, mental or psychological problem that is setting the family apart. To achieve such an objective, each family member should commit to improving communication among the members.
However, there are specific goals depending on the family current situation. Every therapy session is different from one another since each family will need to solve different problems.
If a family member is suffering from a severe mental health problem such as schizophrenia or Alzheimer, the therapist will aim to help the rest of the family group to live together with a mentally ill person and raise awareness of such a disease.
There are several family issues that aren’t related to mental health but the family organization and assembled families. Nowadays, nuclear families tend to live with grandparents or adolescents with their own kids who still don’t leave home. In some other cases, grandparents raise their grandchildren and make decisions as parents do. The counsellor, in this scenario, will help the family to set boundaries and improve communication.
There are several dysfunctional families since they stick to societal norms and don’t accept what’s outside them such as homosexual children, unmarried kids, single parents, among others. The counsellor should help the family accept different societal attitudes and how to cope with them.
In some other cases, one of the family members has emotional problems which directly affects the correct and healthy family functioning. Some kids feel they’re neglected by parents or receive less support in comparison with his/her siblings. During a family therapy session, the counsellor will work on empathy and understanding within the family.
Each family has underlying problems which- in some cases- persist for years affecting the correct functioning and gradually wearing out the relationship. Family therapy isn’t for everyone, it takes courage, strength and recognition that there are family issues that need to be solved.
There are several approaches and types of therapy tailored for every family depending on their problems. The counsellor will listen to every member so as to find the root of their problems and help them heal from past experiences or solve everyday issues we all struggle with at one moment or another in life.