This answer often looks different to each family that starts family therapy. However, some signs that your family might need to consider family counseling include frequent fights or misunderstandings, constant tension, experiencing loss, behavioral issues, marital issues, divorce, and blended family issues, among others.
In family therapy, therapists will often start by asking questions and assessing individual and family dynamics. From there, they may employ therapeutic techniques such as structured family therapy, CBT, strategic family therapy, and more depending on the present concerns and conflicts. From there, a therapist will work to open lines of communication between family members and facilitate emotional healing and growth.
The playwright George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” It feels wonderful to be able to describe your family as happy, even when you have the normal disagreements and conflicts that come with close relationships. Having a happy family doesn’t mean that you don’t fight or experience hardship. It just means that you always preserve a baseline of love, loyalty, and security. But that can be hard to achieve when some family members hold grudges, or don’t trust each other, or when parents are experiencing serious financial difficulties, or even when someone is suffering from a mental condition that affects the family as a whole. That’s when a professional family therapist can step in to help calm the waters and get things running smoothly again.
The licensed family therapists at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN can help family members identify strengths and weaknesses in their bonds. They can help family members attain critical insights about their communication styles and how they can be improved for more meaningful interactions. And they can help family members find ways to achieve their happiness goals.
When Is It Time to See a Family Therapist?
A family therapist at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN can see family members for a number of issues that may arise, from the relatively minor (like when a teen talks back to her parents) to major (like when there’s a significant loss in the family). Some of the issues that bring families to a Thriveworks family therapist include:
- Marital problems
- Financial struggles
- Emotional abuse
- Chronic illness
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Blended family difficulties
- Cultural differences
- Growing apart or estrangement
- Long-lasting grudges
What Do You Do in a Family Counseling Session?
If you’ve ever been in an individual counseling session, you probably have a basic idea of what you can expect from a family counseling session–though the focus won’t just be on you anymore. Your family therapist at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN may begin a session by asking every individual family member about their goals for therapy. Do they have a specific issue they want to address, like someone’s alcoholism and the impact it has on the family, or do they just have a vague sense that something is wrong? In family therapy at Thriveworks, your therapist may gently and adeptly elicit information about the following:
- Your family’s strengths and weaknesses
- Unspoken rules and codes of behavior
- Everyone’s communication styles
- Everyone’s roles within the family
Through evidence-based therapy techniques and exercises, you and your family members may learn some of the following skills:
- How to be honest without being hurtful
- How to reduce tension in the family
- How to forgive, or ask for forgiveness
- How to reinforce your family’s strengths
- How to manage your anger
- How to emphasize with family members
- How to nurture an environment where everyone is safe and supported
Family therapists at Thriveworks help families achieve these goals by listening to and understanding everyone’s perspective, not taking sides or assigning blame.
What Are the Different Clinical Approaches to Family Therapy?
Every family therapist at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN has their own personal toolbox of therapeutic techniques, but the primary modalities of family therapy include the following:
- Structural, which looks at variables like structure and hierarchy that make up the family unit
- Strategic, which starts with observation and ends with task setting
- Narrative, which uses storytelling to enhance understanding
- Bowenian, which focuses on self-differentiation
- Systemic, which treats the family as an interconnected unit
- Psychoeducation, which teaches families about mental conditions and how they might affect family dynamics
Meet Your Exceptional Family Therapist at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN
The experienced, highly qualified, and fully licensed family therapists at Thriveworks in Eden Prairie, MN can help your family achieve its ultimate potential. They accomplish this through evidence-based, solution-focused, top-rated therapies that can enhance the existing bonds between family members. Your family therapist at Thriveworks can meet you and your loved ones in-person at the Thriveworks office, or online at your convenience. The online option works especially well for family members who might be estranged. All they need is a reliable internet connection to do the rewarding work of therapy.
When you enroll at Thriveworks, you get numerous added benefits like email and phone access to your family therapist between sessions. You can also take advantage of our Ask-a-Coach 24hr Q&A service, where a professional counselor can respond to your personal questions with meaningful life advice within a day of your inquiry.
We look forward to helping you and your family members strengthen your connection. Call the Thriveworks office today, and meet with your therapist as early as tomorrow. We look forward to hearing from you and your loved ones!