Home no longer your sanctuary? Family therapy may help.
If your home life seems out of control, it might be time to consider family therapy. This helpful form of counseling not only addresses the issues of individuals but takes on the dynamics of the family as a whole, working through what works and what doesn’t in the hopes of restoring a healthy, functional family unit.
Who can benefit from this type of therapy? Well, if you’re wondering if it might be right for you then chances are it could be. Take a minute and decide if any of these situations may be effecting you, your spouse, your partner, your kids, or whomever you share your home:
- Addiction or substance abuse
- Anxiety or conflict
- Strained communications
- Financial stress
- Sexual disorders
- Chronic and/or progressive illness or disability
- Attention deficit disorder
- Histories of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Eating disorders
Many families may be hesitant to turn to a family therapist because they don’t know what to expect. Fear of judgment, blame, or failure may keep people from ever making that call to get the help they need. But a therapist’s role is not to take sides or place blame; rather, they serve as an objective negotiator, one who works with each individual to identify the source of their conflict and also the family as a whole to determine how those issues are effecting the group.
In working with families, therapists may use a variety of techniques. The following strategies, outlined by Robert L. Smith and Patricia Stevens-Smith in their article “Basic Techniques in Marriage and Family Counseling and Therapy” (1992), are frequently employed by family therapists:
- Reframing – looking at a perceived problem from another individual’s perspective
- Tracking – taking a sequential family history, allowing the therapist to have an understanding of how events have unfolded
- The Empty Chair – giving one individual the opportunity to address another family member outside of their presence
- Family Meetings – as the name implies, this is a meeting of all family members where all can voice their thoughts or concerns without fear of attack
- Communication Skill-Building – identifying break-downs and teaching more effective communication strategies
- Family Photos – offering another means for drawing out conversation about family history, stories, and rituals
The above list is certainly not exhaustive and may or may represent what a local therapist could recommend for your family. As with any partnership it’s wise to find out more about them before committing to an ongoing counseling relationship with any one specific therapist.
If you have questions about whether Indianapolis family therapy may be right for you and your loved ones consider taking the next step by contacting Lotus Group at 317-595-5555.