When a person experiences a mental health condition, it does not only impact their lives. Instead, their family is also affected by their loved one’s mental state and needs to learn how to support them effectively. The solution? Family counseling, which is a form of psychotherapy focused on improving relationships. Our family therapy program in Boston will support you in coping with your mental health disorder while also improving your familial relationships.
The Purpose of Family Therapy
People often wonder what family counseling is before starting a treatment program. Many families decide to participate in therapy for different reasons. Family counseling helps members of a family learn how their behaviors impact others. In family therapy, people also learn how to improve their personal behavior. It is not uncommon for family members to reach out for support for the following reasons:
- Communication issues
- Dealing with chronic or acute illness of a family member
- Death and grief
- Emotional or physical trauma
- Relationship dynamics within a family
- Sudden changes such as relocation or unemployment
In addition, it is helpful to attend family counseling if one or more mental health conditions are present within the family:
- Anxiety disorders
- Eating disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Personality disorder
- Substance use disorder
While individual therapy is an important part of the recovery journey, family therapy can be an integral part of treatment.
Types of Family Therapy
There are various forms of family counseling that mental health professionals use. Therapists choose specific therapy depending on the needs of your family, and the options might include:
- Functional family therapy (FTT) is often used to support families and children with behavioral problems. FFT assesses family behaviors contributing to a child’s behaviors.
- Marriage or couples therapy supports couples in identifying their problems and finding solutions.
- Strategic family therapy is a short-term form of therapy. The focus is on making positive changes within the family.
- Structural family therapy examines inner relationships and hierarchies within a family. Therapists emphasize having direct interactions with other family members to create changes. It is expected that families will identify positive coping skills to deal with their problematic patterns.
- Systemic family therapy refers to examining a family’s challenges in relation to the context of their lives. This can include cultural, religious, and socio-economic views as well as political views.
No matter what type of family therapy you participate in, you’ll learn strategies to support better communication.
Using Family Therapy to Support Depression and Relationships
Depression is one of the mental health conditions that professionals recommend for family therapy. A family might not necessarily understand how to support their loved one who is experiencing depression. Family members often do not even know the important role they can play in helping their loved one learn effective ways of coping with their mental health disorder.
Family therapy supports depression and relationships because it will help you:
- Identify specific challenges you are facing and your family’s behaviors
- Discover how to resolve negative behaviors and interactions
- Establish individual and familial goals and objectives
- Work collectively to achieve your goals
Following these steps will help break down negative boundaries that exist in your family. Instead, your family will be focused on knowing how to support their loved one in managing their mental health disorder.
Family Therapy at Greater Boston Behavioral Health Can Help You Heal
Although family therapy is not a quick fix for unpleasant situations or family conflicts, it will assist you and your family in reaching a greater understanding of each other. You will also learn positive coping skills that will help you successfully navigate through familial challenges. Finally, it promotes love and unity, two concepts that will support any dealing with mental health conditions.
At Greater Boston Behavioral Health, we offer family counseling as a way of supporting our clients. Through therapy sessions, family members are provided with the opportunity to learn the needs of their loved one and how they can provide the best support.