Types of Family Therapy Approaches
Types of family therapy approaches assist in improving interpersonal relationships among family members, couples, and significant others. They often provide a safe atmosphere for members of the family to freely express their feelings and thoughts.
The goal of family therapy is to create an environment where change can occur in a supportive manner and the family as a whole can benefit. At Royal Life Centers, our team of certified therapists and counselors can help you and your family find the best approach for your needs. We know how hard it can be to reach out for help, but we assure you that seeking professional assistance is an essential piece of creating change in any family setting.
What Are the Types of Family Therapy Approaches?
Depending on who is involved and what is being treated, family therapy is performed differently. For this reason, there are several different types of family therapy approaches that are beneficial for people seeking treatment for substance abuse. Likewise, therapists can modify therapy styles for those who have co-occurring mental health disorders. Within a holistic approach to treatment, family therapy is integrated into a guest’s individualized treatment plan to address the emotional and physical needs of individuals, families, and loved ones.
Similarly, family therapy can improve interpersonal relationships among family members, couples, and significant others. The family therapist typically prompts conversations that fortify and improve connections between loved ones.
Several recovery-sensitive techniques can benefit family therapy including:
- Structural family therapy
- Strategic family therapy
- Transgenerational therapy
- Communication family therapy
- Family psychoeducation
- Relationship counseling
Below, we will outline each type of family therapy style.
Structural Family Therapy
Structural family therapy (SFT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on how family interactions and dynamics contribute to the problems or issues your family may be facing. In general, structural family therapy concentrates on the interactions between people and not their corresponding psyches. It is based on the social interactions within the family that fuel conflict.
It looks at how each person’s behavior affects the entire system and therefore works to develop solutions for all members of the family unit. The goal of SFT is to move away from assigning blame, and instead, work together to create solutions that can help the family function better.
In addition to helping families identify and work through their problems, SFT also helps them to set boundaries and limits, develop new communication styles and strategies, learn how to manage conflicts more effectively and increase empathy between family members. As a result, structural family therapists guide dysfunctional families in adopting healthier, more cohesive behaviors that suit familial needs.
Strategic Family Therapy
Strategic family therapy assists those struggling with behavioral issues such as substance abuse by healing the family unit. In general, strategic therapy for families centers around the impact an individual’s family has on their development. It is based on the idea that all members of a family, even non-blood related ones, have an impact on each other and can contribute to or deter from one another’s well-being.
Through strategic therapy, families learn to communicate better and create healthier relationships with each other. Similarly, this type of therapy helps families identify destructive patterns and replace them with more positive ones. The goal is to prevent any further issues from arising by creating a supportive and nurturing environment for all family members. Most importantly, strategic family therapy focuses on the present moment and how it’s affecting the family as a whole.
By recognizing current problems, families can start taking steps toward resolution before things deteriorate. This leads to more productive conversations and an increased understanding of each other’s feelings and perspectives. With the help of a trained therapist, families can gain insight into their current issues and learn how to create healthier relationships with each other–leading to better overall mental health for everyone involved.
Strategic therapy involves five main stages:
- Social stage
- Problem stage
- Interactional stage
- Goal-setting stage
- Task-setting stage
During strategic therapy, you and your family will participate in goal-oriented exercises to promote growth. By understanding how emotions are linked to behaviors, strategic therapy helps individuals create healthier relationships and lead more fulfilled lives.
Transgenerational therapy is a type of counseling that focuses on the impact of traumatic events experienced by previous generations. It works to identify and address current issues that may have been brought on by past traumas, while also working to reduce the likelihood of similar issues developing in future generations.
By examining family systems across many generations, therapists look for current issues and help families identify the connections to the current struggles they are facing. For this reason, this type of therapy is also referenced as “family of origin” exploration.
Transgenerational therapy helps individuals understand how unresolved family trauma can manifest in different forms and how to address these issues. It can help lessen the burden of inherited suffering and create a healthier, more emotionally balanced individual. With the right tools and supportive environment, each member of the family can strive towards finding balance in their lives.
Within our Native American program, this form of therapy is immensely beneficial for members of tribal communities because it helps them heal from intergenerational trauma.
Communication Family Therapy
Communication family therapy is a therapy that focuses on communication issues between family members and couples. It is often helpful in resolving conflicts, increasing understanding and trust between family members, and helping couples express their feelings. Communication therapy can also benefit situations where one partner has difficulty expressing their emotions or needs to the other partner. Additionally, it can be helpful for parents who have difficulty communicating with their children, or couples who have experienced a traumatic event.
Sometimes, relationships can fall apart due to secrecy, fear of judgment, and unhealthy communication styles. Often poor communication occurs from differences in cultural, religious, geographic, or personal experiences. Other times, substance abuse and mental health issues can act as barriers to health communication. For this reason, the overall goal of this therapy is to help improve communication skills. To do so, therapists work with guests and their families to strengthen their active listening skills and open honest lines of communication.
Communication therapy typically involves talking about feelings, desires, and expectations in a safe, non-threatening environment. Through communication therapy, couples can learn to communicate better with each other, as well as how to recognize possible signs of difficulty in their relationship. Ultimately, communication therapy is intended to help strengthen relationships by improving mutual understanding and trust.
Relationship counseling, regardless of whether it’s parent-child, spouse-spouse, or significant other-significant other, is a common denominator within the family therapy venue. During recovery, relationships can be difficult, and simple day-to-day problems can increase stress or strain within relationships.
Relationship counseling also helps couples cope with life changes such as marriage, parenting, job loss, and retirement. Other couples therapy topics may include chronic illness, ineffective communication skills, infidelity, emotional distancing, trust-mistrust issues, and financial issues.
These sessions provide a safe a respectful setting for couples to address these difficult issues. which is why we create a comfortable atmosphere for clients to share their stories and work together on finding solutions.
Psychoeducation For Families
Family psychoeducation (FPE) is an approach to mental health care in which family members learn about the illness, treatment plans, and strategies for coping. During drug and alcohol rehab, FPE helps families navigate difficult situations and behaviors that can arise from living with a mental health disorder. As family members become more educated, they are better able to support their loved one and help manage symptoms.
Our psychoeducation courses teach guests and their families about substance abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. In doing so, our counselors help people understand how substance use can impact the family and the ways that the family can impact substance use.
Our psychoeducation has four core goals in mind:
- Informative discussions on the impacts of substance abuse on family units
- Education on medication-assisted treatment (when applicable)
- Skills-based training and lessons on healthy forms of communication
- Additional resources for self-education, advocacy, and support groups
As a part of our holistic approach to treatment, psychoeducation teaches you and your family members information about the impacts of addiction on the mind, body, and spirit. We provide a safe space to discuss the impacts of addiction and the role of each family member during recovery.
Not only is family psychoeducation beneficial for the individual living with a co-occurring mental health disorder, but it can also improve the overall functioning of the family unit. Family members gain a better understanding each other and interact in healthy ways, allowing for greater understanding and improved relationships.
Can Different Family Therapy Approaches Help Different Families?
All family therapy approaches aim to educate each member on how their behaviors affect the other members of the family. In general, the goal of family therapy is to create a healthier and more harmonious family dynamic. No matter which family therapy approach is chosen, the therapist will work to help family members learn new skills and provide support for positive changes in their relationships.
This can lead to improved communication, understanding between family members, and a healthier overall relationship dynamic. Additionally, family therapy can bring greater awareness of how each member adds to the functioning and well-being of the family. With insight and support from a therapist, family members can learn how to better resolve issues that lead to conflict, as well as become more aware of their own emotional needs.
Family therapy is a valuable tool for any type of family struggling to build healthier relationships during addiction treatment and recovery. It can help members gain insight into their family dynamics and learn how to better handle difficult situations. By addressing the underlying issues that may be causing conflict, families can create a stronger bond and healthier dynamic. With the support of an experienced therapist, family members can work together to foster understanding and build meaningful relationships.
Our Approach to Family Therapy
Family therapy is an integral part of any comprehensive substance use disorder treatment program. Bringing families back together in therapy is an incredibly important part of drug or alcohol treatment programs. While it can be a difficult process, allowing each person a space to vent, apologize, and reconnect can be an overwhelmingly healing experience.
We understand that it takes a commitment from everyone involved to make lasting changes in family dynamics. We strive to help you build positive relationships by focusing on communication, collaboration, problem-solving, empathy, and compassion. With the help of our trained counselors and therapists, we will create an individualized treatment plan tailored to your family’s specific needs.
Our services provide a safe and confidential space for all members of your family to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment or criticism. We strive to build trust and understanding between each family member so that you can learn to effectively communicate and resolve conflicts. We believe that through our services, you can create a happier and healthier family environment that is full of understanding, respect, and love.
Our counselors are always here to support you during this journey. Working together, you will develop plans around healthy eating habits, stress management techniques, physical activity guidelines, communication skills, and problem-solving strategies. As a result, you will gain the skills needed to make lasting lifestyle changes in recovery.
Individualized Family Therapy Services
Depending on a guest’s circumstances, family therapy can involve parents and children, couples, or multiple family members. Regardless of the situation, our approach to family therapy focuses on improving communication between family members and resolving conflicts.
We provide individualized treatments based on the unique needs of each guest as well as their family system. Our team provides quality, evidence-based care in a supportive and professional environment. We strive to empower both our guests and their families to become self-reliant, confident, and successful in their recoverys.
If you or your loved one needs assistance in entering treatment, please reach out to our admissions team. We are available around the clock to always be there for you when you need support. Because We Care. Call us at 877-RECOVERY.
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