Family Therapy in Northern New Jersey
Emotional problems don’t just affect one person; they affect everyone in the family. For this reason, family therapy performed by Psycho-Educational Associates is recommended for families in Totowa, Woodland Park, Little Falls Township and the surrounding New Jersey areas.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is based on the idea that the family structure and communication within it is a unique social system. Things such as the personality of each family member, beliefs and values of the parents, and the influence of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and other extended family members can determine the pattern that is set up within the family. Each family will develop a unique personality that can have a powerful effect on each member of it.
Family therapy is also based on the following ideas:
- When one family member is affected, and displaying counterproductive behaviors, this may be the result of a larger family problem. Treating just the individual is like treating the symptoms of an illness instead of the illness itself. This means that other members of the family can begin to engage in dysfunctional behavior patterns. The cycle will continue on and on until the family problems are examined and then treated.
- Changes that are experienced by one family member affect the entire family structure and every member individually.
Health professionals who specialize in family therapy use the family symptoms model in caring for the family as a group. Family systems therapists generally believe any problem an individual is experiencing may be a symptom of conflict or change in the entire family.
Benefits of Family Therapy
Family therapy sessions can benefit families and individuals who are facing a number of problems, including:
- Children and teenagers who have problems getting along with one another
- Adolescents with behavioral or school-related problems
- Conflicts within a marriage
- Dealing with family members who have a substance abuse problem, chronic mental illness, or severe depression
Family therapy sessions can be used to prevent problems before they ever begin. At times, families seek this type of help when they anticipate a major change that will take place in their lives. For example, a man and a women who are about to get married and have children from previous marriages may decide to use family therapy as a way to help everyone learn how to get along with one another and live together peacefully.
The ideas on which family therapy are based can be useful in individual therapy sessions. Individuals who come from families where there is illness or other problems can benefit from individual therapy sessions based on family therapy concepts.
What are the Conditions Treated with Family Therapy?
Anyone seeking a healthier family structure can benefit from therapy. Family therapy is used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Marital problems
- Parent-child conflicts
- Problems between siblings
- The burden of family illness
When a family flourishes, each individual within the family begins to flourish as well. According to studies, family therapy is particularly important for adults and adolescents who are struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders or behavioral issues.
Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through traumatic periods.
What does a Family Therapist Do?
Some of the things a family therapist will do include:
- Helping the family to identify anxieties or conflicts, and then come up with a strategy to resolve them
- Provide education about how families generally function, particularly how their own family functions
- Helping individuals to focus on the family as a whole instead of just one member who has been diagnosed with an illness
- Working to strengthen the family so that they can overcome and work on problems together
- Finding ways to help families handle conflicts and changes
What to Expect during a Family Therapy Session?
When a family attends a therapy session, their strengths will be used to help them handle conflicts and problems. Each member has to take responsibility for problems. At times, it may be necessary for certain family members to change their behavior more than others. This is an active type of therapy where each member is given an assignment. For example, children may be given more responsibility by their parents.
The amount of times a family will have to attend therapy sessions will depend on how severe their problems are and how willing each member is to participate in therapy. Working together, the therapist and the family will set goals and discuss a timeframe for achieving them. Not all members of the family will attend the sessions every time.
Strong families sometimes require therapy in order to remain that way. Here at Psycho-Educational Associates, we have experienced, caring professionals standing by ready to provide you with family therapy and a variety of other services. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!