If difficulties emerge within the family, the family as a whole may be in distress.
Family therapy works to assist the family in rebuilding relationships between and among family members. Family therapy helps to regain the care for family members, understand each other’s needs and assist each other in working through issues and increasing psychological health and thus well-being.
Sometimes the family refers to close groups of people who care deeply about and for one another and may consider each other ‘chosen family’. These small family groups can also enter a process of family therapy.
A family sometimes needs a psychologist:
- Enhancing communication within the family
- Recovering from a trauma
- Assisting with grief and the grieving process
- Assisting the family with changes, for instance:
- The addition of new family members à a new baby being born, foster or adopted children
- Enhancing the relationship between parents and their child or children, from infancy onward
- Working through changes after separation or divorce
- Blending or blended families
- Sibling rivalry or conflict as well as conflict between parents and their children
- Developing healthy boundaries for each family member’s personal needs to be met
- Adjusting or guidance for the family when a member of the family is diagnosed with a medical, psychiatric or psychological condition
In the process of family therapy, I see the each of the family members individually at first, this assists each person to fully express their unique view of where they are at in relation to the difficult within the family. This is to allow each member a voice so to speak and for their personal questions to be put on the table before the family is brought together as a unit. Sometimes one or more of the family members is more reluctant to attend the family session which is understandable and can be brought to therapy and taken from there.
When the family is ready for a joint process (therapy), the whole family is seen together and a joint family process unfolds.