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 inevitable not to deal with a dysfunctional family once in a while.

The aims of group and family therapy are to help individuals or families address and resolve specific issues or problems they may be facing. These can include issues related to mental health, substance abuse, relationship conflicts, and other challenges.

The benefits of group and family therapy include the ability to gain a sense of support and validation from others who may be experiencing similar issues, the ability to learn from other’s experiences and insights, and the ability to practice new communication and problem-solving skills in a safe and supportive environment. Additionally, group and family therapy can also help to improve overall relationships and increase a sense of connection and understanding among family members.

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, an eating disorder, a divorce, the death of a loved one, financial problems, or any mental health problem; it also interferes with 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.

Therapeutic interventions come in various forms, with group and family therapy being prominent approaches that provide invaluable support and healing. Group therapy involves a gathering of individuals with similar concerns, while family therapy focuses on the dynamics and relationships within a family unit. Both modalities offer unique advantages and share common aims, ultimately aiming to improve individuals’ well-being and foster healthier relationships. 

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. 

In this way, the counselor will work with the family to restore bonds and help them develop and maintain a healthy and functional family.

Family Counseling

Family counseling is a therapy approach that works with dysfunctional families. The counselor or psychologist addresses psychological, behavioral, and emotional issues which may be the cause of family problems.

This form of treatment is designed to help a family who is going through a difficult time or even a major mental health issue. Family counseling 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 counselor.  For some families, it only takes 10 months to see the benefits of counseling 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 a 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, enhancing trust in each other, being honest with the rest of the individuals, forgiving each other for whatever may have happened and coming 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 is 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’s 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 because they stick to societal norms and don’t accept what’s outside them such as homosexual children, unmarried kids, and 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 affect the correct and healthy family functioning. Some kids feel they’re neglected by their 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.

How does Group Therapy​ work?

Group therapy typically involves a trained therapist leading a group of people who have similar issues or concerns. The group members share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with each other in a safe and supportive environment. The therapist facilitates the discussion, helps group members to understand and process their experiences, and provides guidance on how to make positive changes.

The structure and format of group therapy can vary depending on the specific type of therapy being used, but generally, the group meets on a regular basis, such as once a week, and sessions can last from 60 minutes to 2 hours. The size of the group can also vary but usually ranges from 5 to 15 people.

During the group therapy sessions, members can discuss a wide range of topics, such as past traumas, current stressors, relationship issues, or challenges related to mental health. The therapist will help members to understand the underlying causes of their problems and provide guidance on how to change negative patterns of thinking and behavior. Group therapy can be very helpful in developing new coping skills, building self-esteem, and increasing self-awareness.

Group therapy can be a beneficial supplement to individual therapy or as a standalone treatment option. It is particularly useful for people who may feel isolated or alone in their struggles, or for those who may be more comfortable discussing sensitive topics in a group setting.

Who can Group Therapy​ benefit?

Group therapy can benefit a wide range of people with a variety of issues or concerns. It can be particularly helpful for individuals who are struggling with:

-Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.

-Substance abuse or addiction.

-Trauma and abuse.

-Grief and loss.

-Chronic illness or pain.

-Relationship problems or challenges.

-Life transitions, such as retirement or aging.

-Sexual, physical, emotional or psychological abuse

-Developing and maintaining healthy relationships

-Managing anger and stress

-Other issues related to emotional or psychological well-being

Group therapy can also be helpful for people who are seeking support and validation from others who may be experiencing similar problems. It can provide a sense of community and belonging and can be a valuable supplement to individual therapy or other forms of treatment.

It is important to note that group therapy may not be appropriate for all individuals, especially those who have severe mental health issues or those who may have difficulty participating in group dynamics. In such cases, individual therapy may be a better option.

What are the general goals of group therapy?

The general goals of group therapy can vary depending on the specific group and the issues being addressed, but some common goals include:

  1. To provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

  2. To help individuals understand and process their experiences and emotions.

  3. To provide individuals with new perspectives and insights on their problems and challenges.

  4. To help individuals develop new coping skills and strategies for dealing with their issues.

  5. To increase self-awareness and understanding of one’s own thoughts, feelings and behavior.

  6. To improve communication and relationship skills.

  7. To provide support and validation for individuals who may be experiencing similar problems.

  8. To help individuals build self-esteem and confidence.

  9. To provide opportunities for individuals to practice new behaviors and problem-solving skills in a safe and supportive environment.

  10. To help individuals set and achieve specific goals related to their personal and emotional well-being.

  11. To help individuals develop a sense of community and belonging.

  12. To promote healing and personal growth.

Overall, the goal of group therapy is to help individuals address and resolve specific issues or problems they may be facing, improve their emotional well-being and relationships, and achieve greater self-awareness and understanding.

Benefits of Group and Family Therapy:

  1. Mutual Support: Both group and family therapy offer a supportive network of individuals who understand and empathize with each other’s struggles. This shared experience fosters a sense of belonging and reduces feelings of isolation. Participants often find comfort in knowing they are not alone in their journey, which can lead to increased motivation, resilience, and overall well-being.

  2. Increased Self-awareness: Engaging with others’ experiences and receiving feedback allows individuals to gain insight into their own thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Through this self-reflection, participants can identify patterns, strengths, and areas for growth. Increased self-awareness enables individuals to make positive changes, develop healthier coping mechanisms, and enhance their overall functioning.

  3. Enhanced Relationships: Both group and family therapy provide opportunities for improving interpersonal relationships. In group therapy, individuals can practice communication skills, empathy, and collaboration, which can be transferred to their relationships outside the group. Family therapy directly addresses family dynamics and fosters healthier interactions, leading to improved relationships and a more nurturing environment.


There are several approaches and types of therapy tailored for every family depending on their problems. The counselor 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.

Group and family therapy play crucial roles in promoting personal growth, emotional healing, and stronger relationships. They offer a supportive environment, skill development, and enhanced self-awareness. These therapies aim to address individual and relational challenges, providing valuable tools to navigate life’s difficulties. By engaging in group or family therapy, individuals can experience the benefits of shared support, improved communication, and a deeper understanding of themselves and their loved ones.

Categories: Health

Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I've been writing articles for more than 12 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I'm currently writing for many websites and newspapers. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. All my years as a computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. You can contact me on our forum or by email at [email protected].