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Family Therapy: What Is It and How Does It Help?

For those struggling with addiction, breakdowns within their relationships are just one of the many hardships their substance may bring into their lives. Because of this, finding ways to rebuild these relationships is crucial to the recovery journey. It is for this very reason that many rehab programs have begun implementing family therapy as a core element in their recovery approach. If you are seeking treatment for a substance use disorder, it is important to understand how family therapy works and how it can help you.

What Is Family Therapy?  

Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps families improve their relationships and resolve conflicts. This therapeutic practice is based on the idea that families are systems and that problems within a family can be caused by problems in the system as a whole.

During a typical therapy session with a family, the provider will work with a family to identify and change negative patterns of interaction and communication, as well as help them develop new skills for coping with stress, resolving conflict, and making decisions.

Including family in therapy can be helpful for families who are struggling with a variety of issues, including:

  • Mental health problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Major life transitions
  • Communication problems
  • Conflict
  • Substance abuse

Family therapy is typically conducted in a group setting, with all family members present. The therapist may also meet with individual family members or couples. These sessions will typically last for 50-60 minutes and be held weekly or bi-weekly, although this timeframe can vary based on your specific needs and treatment provider.

The length of family therapy treatment can also vary depending on the specific needs of your family. Some families may only need a few sessions of therapy, while others may need several months or even years of therapy.

What Are the Benefits?

No matter what issue leads you and your loved one to consider seeking out a family therapist, there are many benefits to receiving this level of care. While everyone may respond to treatment differently, some of the most common benefits of family therapy include:

  • Improved communication: Family therapy can help families learn to communicate more effectively and express their feelings in a healthy way.
  • Increased empathy: Family therapy can help family members understand each other better and develop more empathy for one another.
  • Improved conflict resolution skills: Through family therapy, families can develop healthier ways to resolve conflict and avoid destructive patterns.
  • Strengthened family bonds: Family therapy can help families grow closer together and build stronger relationships.
  • Reduced stress: Family therapy can help families cope with stress in a healthier way and prevent burnout.

These are just a few of the many benefits you and your loved ones stand to gain when participating in therapy with your family. It is also important to note that these skills and coping mechanisms can be applied to many aspects of your life, improving not just how you function within your family unit but as a whole.

What Is Family Therapy Like?

When participating in family therapy, it can help to know what to expect from a session beforehand. Typically, each session will last for around 50-60 minutes and will take place at a treatment facility or in your therapist’s office.

Most first sessions will involve the entire family, with individual and subgroup sessions taking place once the therapist is familiar with their clients. During a family therapy session, the therapist will ask questions to learn about the family’s history, dynamics, and goals.

The therapist will also observe how family members interact with each other. Based on this information, the therapist will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the family’s specific needs.

Your therapist may utilize a variety of treatment methods and approaches, including:

  • Talk therapy: Your therapist will talk to you and your family members about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
  • Behavioral therapy: Your therapist will teach you and your family members new skills, such as how to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts.
  • Play therapy: If there are children present, your therapist may use play therapy to help them express their emotions and work through problems.
  • Family education: Your therapist may provide you and your family members with information about mental health, parenting, or other relevant topics.

Each of these techniques can be invaluable in rebuilding your familial bonds and balance within the family dynamic. When working with a family therapist, it is important to be open and honest during each session to make sure that you are successfully working through your issues.

Who Offers Therapy for Families?

If you are considering family therapy, it is important to know where to look and who you can go to for this treatment. Generally, you can ask your medical provider to direct you to a local family therapist or even look online for a provider that works for you.

Of course, if you are looking to incorporate this kind of therapy into your addiction treatment process, it is important to look for a rehab center that offers this service. Fortunately, many addiction treatment facilities offer comprehensive care to their clients, including family therapy sessions.

It is important to look for a treatment facility that is willing to work with you to build a customized treatment plan and has a diverse and comprehensive treatment approach that is capable of meeting each of your care needs.

Family Therapy for Addiction at Royal Life Centers

When going to rehab, therapy for addiction serves as a type of psychotherapy that helps families cope with the effects of addiction. It can be helpful for both the person with the addiction and their family members in many ways, including:

  • Improved communication and relationships within the family
  • Development of healthy coping skills
  • Resolved conflict
  • Healthier boundaries
  • A supportive environment for recovery

If you are seeking help to recover from a substance use disorder, Royal Life Centers offers a full continuum of care, including family therapy, to provide the care you need to achieve long-term recovery.

Our family therapy services are incorporated into a comprehensive treatment plan that includes additional treatment options such as medical detox, residential and outpatient treatment, medication, and additional therapies to make sure every aspect of your addiction is being addressed.

If you are interested in learning more about how our therapies can be a good fit for you, or you are ready to start your recovery journey, reach out to us today!

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