It’s a family affair…
Family therapy involves a different approach because there are several participants in a session at one time. To be honest about what you should expect for the first phase of this kind of treatment, just imagine what goes on in your home when everyone is doing their best to push one another’s buttons to incite a riot. This is exactly what you can expect to happen in the consultation room.
Even though airing your dirty laundry in public is uncomfortable, this is actually a good opportunity for the therapist to be able to observe the dynamics of the family.
…So let it out, it’s a good thing. Eventually though, the therapist will restore order and disclose the observations that have been made to help each family member be able to recognize the unhealthy ways in which he/she communicates with each other and the negative impact that this has on everyone involved.
Typically, a family elects to participate in treatment when they are experiencing some kind of discord, contention, or crisis.
It is also common for the family to identify one person as the source of the problem. Family therapy is a delicate process, and the first goal is to ensure that all members feel important and that concerns regarding family dynamics are expressed in a way that is sensitive to everyone in the room. The role of the therapist in family therapy is to help family members express their frustration and their needs to one another in a non-threatening manner, so that members can feel safe emotionally in order to hear feedback from one another as well as to provide feedback to one another.
Another confession: restoring cohesion to the family system is no small feat.
It will require a lot of tolerance and patience that you may not have at the beginning of treatment, but that you will learn to develop throughout the process. The skills that each family member will learn and be capable of exercising will help so much in terms of restoring harmony, mutual respect and consideration to the family unit because everyone in your home deserves to feel loved, important and happy.