Family therapy provides both the families of a struggling teen and the teen themselves with a safe place to heal. If your teen is wrestling with depression, eating disorders, suicidal tendencies, or substance abuse, it is going to affect the whole family. Family therapy strives to provide a place where each member can be a part of the healing process not just for the teen, but often for the family as a whole.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is a type of group therapy that explores how the family structure affects and is being affected by your teen struggling with addiction or other serious issues. This style of therapy looks at the family as a whole unit and also at each individual and their part in the whole picture. Family therapy can include immediate family as well as extended family if it seems that it will help your troubled teen. A family therapist looks at the whole family, not just the individual, and in doing so, they typically find the following to be true:

  • Serious issues can cause different types of ramifications throughout the entire interconnected family unit. These ripples can lead to dysfunctional relationships in your family system.
  • Dysfunctional relationships often cause:
    • Loss of trust between family members
    • Harbored secrets
    • Dishonesty between family members
    • Alliances can form, targeting other members
    • Individual family members to isolate themselves
    • Certain family members to take control
    • Tension across the family unit that affects members abilities to function and fulfill their responsibilities

There is no set number or average number of sessions. Instead, the family and the therapist will agree on a specific number of meetings based on the severity of your teen’s issues and the willingness of the family members to participate in recovery. It is not necessary for every member to attend each and every session. Instead, this is usually something worked out and discussed on a case by case basis.

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

Family therapy is very active and looks to each member of the family to engage in counseling sessions. It focuses on using the family’s strengths to handling the issues at hand.

Specifically, family therapy can:

  • Teach family members how a family functions and how theirs can adopt those principles.
  • Help the family focus less on the troubled teen as the issue and focus more on the family as a unit.
  • Help family members recognize existing conflicts and worries.
  • Strengthen the family unit and help them develop strategies to work on their problems together.
  • Teach the whole family together and as individuals methods for handling conflicts and change in a positive and beneficial way.
  • Help the family be stronger and closer even through hard situations.

For family therapy to be effective, it does require that all family members agree to participate wholeheartedly for the entire duration of the sessions. Family therapy is one of the pieces of our programs for troubled teens who are struggling with substance abuse and behavior health issues. If you would like more information about our teen treatment center, we would be happy to talk to you. Please give us a call at 907-789-4733 or at 1-877-597-4357. We are here to help you, your teen, and your whole family.