WHAT IS FAMILY THERAPY AND WHAT CAN IT PROVIDE?
Family therapy is a type of counselling (psychotherapy) that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. It helps dysfunctional families become functional by transforming patterns of behaviour into patterns of healthy choice. Family therapy is often short term and may last between 6 and 12 sessions. It may include all family members, or just those most willing or able to participate. The treatment plan will depend on your family’s situation.
Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through demanding times, even after your psychotherapy sessions end. It can help your family:
- Learn preferred interactions
- Reframe interactions
- Find united goals
- Clarify interactional dynamics
- Create space to process and honour emotions
- Discuss healthy relationships and explore current ones
- Encourage self-responsibility
- Create boundaries
What Types of Problems can be addressed in Family Therapy?
At some point in their development, all families can benefit from family therapy. Common complaints that family therapy can help with include:
- Poor communication
- Feeling distant from each other
- Complex developmental issues
- Teenage pregnancies
- Blended family issues
- Divorce and post-divorce conflicts
- Family roles
- Financial stress
- Teenage rebellion
- Sibling rivalry
My Approach to Helping Families
My approach to family therapy is informed by both my education and my experience. I have a Master’s of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, am a Registered Psychologist with College of Alberta Psychologists, a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta, and a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. I’ve spent thousands of hours talking to families, helping them deal with many different issues in an effort to find peace and connection. If you are concerned about your children, how your family is communicating (or not communicating), or struggling with a blended family, I can help you navigate what may feel like an overwhelming but necessary conversation. There are ways to find peace and harmony in your home, and I can help you to achieve this.
“We were a strange little band of characters, trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant. Loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.”
– Erma Bombeck
For some of the best articles and papers you can find, check out FamilyTherapy.org.