Family Therapy: When Do You Need It and Should You Do It at All?

June 10, 2019

California families might need therapy for no other reason than the mental health issues caused by stress. The state has the fourth highest stress levels in the US, yet it’s not even in the top 20 of the happiest states. That’s definitely part of the reason why California has one of the largest numbers of divorces, and that’s not even counting legal separations, which are also available in this state. There are also many other reasons that contribute to the need for family therapy and it’s a service you definitely should consider. As long as you don’t set any unrealistic expectations, it can help your whole family through a difficult time and make sure you come out stronger at the end.

Reasons Why Your Family Might Need Therapy

  • Disconnection between family members
  • Blending of two families or adding a new member to yours (for example, adopting a child)
  • One of the family members becoming isolated and withdrawn
  • Keeping secrets from your family
  • Children acting out constantly with the episodes getting progressively worse
  • Addiction in the family
  • Lack of intimacy between spouses
  • Unhealthy uses of intimacy (for example, withholding intimacy as a way to punish the spouse)
  • Excessive grudge holding

This list could go on because personal issues are endless and when one member of the family develops the, everyone is affected. Therapy is a tool that can help you overcome various problems and strengthen your bonds.

However, you shouldn’t consider it to be some kind of magic cure. Counseling can be effective in many cases, but sometimes the problem might lead to “irreconcilable differences” despite your best efforts. This results in your need to look for a way to get an easy divorce in California. And in some cases, family members themselves resist therapy, which makes it inefficient. Many cases like this also end up in a divorce.

Pros and Cons of Family Therapy: Consider Before You Start

Family therapy can be a great help in strengthening your bonds and working through your issues both as a group and on the individual level. In fact, to achieve the best results you’ll need to combine personal and family therapy. In case of addiction or illness, you will also need to involve specialized healthcare professionals.

Going through therapy as a family unit will definitely help you understand each other better because you will be able to see your relationships from others’ points of view. As these sessions should always include feedback, you will all be able to see how exactly your words and actions affect the others. Therefore, you will be able to work out ways to coexist without hurting each other.

However, don’t forget that there are some disadvantages to family therapy as well. The biggest one is that it can have the opposite result, thus making the problem worse. This is not necessarily the therapist’s fault. The cause might be that some members of your family have a high level of psychological resistance or that this particular method simply doesn’t work on them.

Never forget that every issue requires a specialized approach, so if several members of your family have different issues, one counselor might not be able to do anything. In this case, you should first focus on individual therapy and only after the worst is behind you should you move on to working as a group. At that point, it will be essential to connect your personal counselors so they can help your family therapist develop a treatment program that will work best for you.

You definitely should give this kind of treatment a try in any situation that warrants it. The power of therapy when it works is huge. And your belief in and dedication to working on achieving success will be great boosters to your family therapy.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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