Each parent brings to the business of parenting particular values, beliefs and interaction styles learned mainly in their own families. When these beliefs or interaction styles clash, as they often do, family members can get stuck in negative patterns of interactions. This may leave everyone in the family feeling discouraged.
When is family therapy recommended?
Families come for help when:
- A child or adolescent is having developmental or behaviour problems.
- A family is going through a major change such as:
- Losing someone in the family
- Getting used to someone new in the family
- Children becoming teenagers
- Coping with being a single parent after separation and divorce
These are just a few of the reasons why families come to Breakthrough for therapy.
How does family therapy work?
When you call Breakthrough for help with a family problem, the therapist may request an initial counseling session with all family members including: parents, children, and occasionally other family members who play a big role in the family dynamic. Family therapy means "team work" - where the family and therapist work together. The therapist listens carefully to each family member as they talk about what they think the problem is and their ideas about what is going on in the family.
Breakthrough therapists are interested in finding out what has been working well in the family, even for short periods of time, and helping to figure out ways to make things work even better. After the initial session, the family and therapist decide on the next step - for example, seeing a child individually, seeing the parents together, or seeing the whole family again.
How long does family therapy take?
There is no set number of counseling sessions but generally family therapy takes fewer sessions than individual therapy. Why is this? With everyone in the family working together to figure out and solve the problem, change can happen more quickly. As family members practice new and better ways of interacting with each other, the whole family benefits sooner from the work.