Family therapy is a type of psychological counselling designed to help family members improve their communication with each other and to resolve their conflicts. This kind of therapy can help multiple people within the same sessions as you can include partners, children, parents, or anyone who is being affected by the issue at hand.

Some of the most common reasons why people receive family therapy are to resolve marital problems, financial problems, relationship dynamics, domestic violence, trauma, eldercare, grief, communication problems, infidelity, mental health issues or substance abuse. These are all issues that can have a devastating impact on the whole family, even though it may just be one person suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, for example.

It’s not only beneficial for the person who is suffering from the issue to have their family around them during therapy, but it can also be very beneficial for the family members to receive therapy for the impact the issue is having on them. Family therapy helps everyone involved to understand their role in the recovery process and how they can best help the family to move forward together.

In the case of mental health or substance abuse issues, family therapy is likely to be just one of many forms of therapy that the person or persons in need will undergo. Combining family therapy with individual therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, relapse prevention, or holistic therapies such as relaxation and sleep management, mindfulness, and art therapy is often the best way to overcome the issue.

Benefits Of Family Therapy

Often people may feel uncomfortable at the idea of going through therapy in a group, never mind with their family. Although individual therapy may seem like the best option, if you’re suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs for example, this has a huge impact on not just your own physical and psychological well-being but also on your family’s well-being. This is why it’s so important to include them as individual therapy won’t help you to recognise how your behaviour is affecting your family, nor will your therapist be able to fully understand your family dynamics or family environment, which can be integral to the success of your rehabilitation.

Family therapy gives everyone a chance to be heard and to also listen to each other in a calm and professional setting. Open dialogue is encouraged, and support is provided by the therapist to help everyone comprehend the depth of the issue and what they need to do to move forward together as a family. Alongside family therapy, individual therapy between each family member and the therapist may be suggested to provide a unique insight into the situation from all angles.

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What’s Family Therapy Like?

It’s important that you’re prepared to be honest and to have frank conversations with one another. Whatever the issue is, your therapist may seek to delve into your family history and address the dynamics in more detail to fully understand the underlying reasons or causes of the issue. Improving communication within the family will likely be a big focus as this is often a contributor to family issues. You’ll also discuss coping mechanisms that you can utilise in addition to identifying any problematic behaviours and learning how to rectify these.

Family therapy is by no means a cure to the issue you’re there to resolve, but it’s a fantastic tool that’s proven to help build the groundwork for stronger and kinder relationships between family members who have a more compassionate and loving understanding of what each other are going through. Creating and building this support network is vital to achieving a successful recovery.

How Do You Know If family Therapy Is Right For You?

As with all forms of therapy, what works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to realise that family therapy just might not be effective in overcoming your specific issue. There’s no one way to resolve these problems. However, family therapy has proven to be very beneficial for many people.

The best way to approach your rehabilitation is to openly discuss your issue with a member of our team at Ocean Recovery. After spending some time getting to know you and getting to understand the nature of your problems in more detail, we’ll be able to make recommendations on which therapies we think will benefit your recovery most. If we feel as though your family shouldn’t be involved in your treatment because they’re at risk of being a negative influence then we wouldn’t suggest that you involve them. However, if we feel as though yourself and your family members would benefit from receiving counselling together, then this is the route we’ll go down.

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Family Intervention For Drug And Alcohol Addiction

When the problem at hand is an individual suffering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs, and they’re reluctant to acknowledge the problem or to receive professional support, then we can arrange a family intervention. Watching a loved one go through such a painful experience like drug or alcohol addiction can be extremely difficult to witness, especially if they’re in denial about their addiction. You can come to us and arrange a family intervention where we ensure each family member receives the support they need to repair relationships and work as a team to fight the addiction together.

Our family intervention services encourage communication between the whole family, which helps the person suffering from addiction realise just how much their behaviour is impacting everyone around them. This realisation can help them to see more clearly that they have a problem which needs professional support and will hopefully encourage them to join a drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation centre where they can continue to receive family therapy as part of their recovery journey.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Robert Lutaaya - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 12, 2023

MBChB, MSc Psych

Dr Robert Lutaaya qualified in 1995 from Worclaw Medical University as MBChB, and obtained a MSc Psych from the University of Manchester in 2014. Dr Lutaaya has previously worked for the CGL Substance Misuse Service and as an on-call doctor substance misuse Doctor for 17 years before joining Ocean Recovery. Dr Robert Lutaaya is committed to helping those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.