There’s a reason everyone likes to quote Leo Tolstoy’s opening lines from Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” We tend to be able to identify the elements that make up a happy family. Everyone feels secure and loved. Everyone feels like they’re part of a special tribe, but also their own person.
But when it comes to what’s going wrong within your own family, we can sometimes have glaring blind spots. For instance, you may know that when your daughter uses a certain tone of voice, you feel disrespected. But why? And how can you explain it to her without her getting defensive? Or you may feel like your husband doesn’t take enough initiative when it comes to domestic chores or personal finances. But you don’t know how to bring up the subject without sounding like a nag. So what do you do when you’re stuck in the same communication or behavior patterns with your family and you feel like your intimate bonds are weakening rather than getting stronger? This might be an ideal time for family therapy.
A family therapist at Thriveworks in Lakewood, OH is a mental health expert who specializes in understanding how families—and the individuals within families—can function during both happy and unhappy times. A family therapist can identify patterns that might be unhealthy or dysfunctional, and encourage things that are working. These relationship counselors can sort through your family baggage and help you reconnect emotionally. And they can usually do it in 12 sessions or fewer because family therapy is typically targeted, short-term, and solution-focused.
How Family Therapy Can Help
Family therapy can teach you practical ways to improve your communication skills. This is useful not only within your family, but in the wider interpersonal world as well. One of the top-rated, licensed family therapists at Thriveworks in Lakewood, OH can help cultivate your and your family members’ ability to:
- Practice empathy for others
- Resolve conflicts
- Manage your anger
- Listen to each other
- Use neutral language or “I” statements
- Nurture a supportive home environment
- Establish healthy boundaries
- Recognize the signs of a problem
- Address underlying maladaptive feelings and behaviors
- Build trus
Not every family needs the same results from a family therapist, but common denominators probably include increased trust, honesty, and emotional security for all members. Thriveworks family therapists can help you achieve those relationship goals.
Common Indicators That It Might Be Time to See a Family Therapist
Though every family is different, certain issues can be red or yellow flags that might indicate a family could benefit from attending counseling together. Consider scheduling an appointment with a family therapist at Thriveworks in Lakewood, OH if you notice the presence of any of these elements in your household:
- Anger management issues
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Psychological disorders like depression or anxiety
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Bullying at school or home
- Bedwetting or frequent nightmares
- Chronic illness
- A family member with special needs
- Eating disorders
Remember that one member’s individual problems can affect the family unit as a whole. Family dynamics are very sensitive. People act out in all kinds of ways when they witness pain or conflict. For instance, just because your husband and children aren’t clinically depressed like you, that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering from your depression. It can help to talk about their—and your—feelings in the safe space of a family counseling session at Thriveworks in Lakewood, OH.
5 Types of Family Therapy
The five common modalities of family therapy aren’t mutually exclusive. Some marriage and family therapists (MFTs) employ a fusion of different types, depending on what works best for you and your loved ones. Here are the five main modalities:
- Structural therapy, which looks at the roles everyone plays in the family
- Milan therapy, which sees the body as a system guided by natural behavior
- Strategic therapy, which examines and redirects patterns of behavior
- Narrative therapy, which emphasizes individual experiences
- Transgenerational therapy, which assesses relationship conflicts from a generational standpoint
Schedule Your First Session with a Family Therapist at Thriveworks in Lakewood, OH
You can schedule your first session with a Thriveworks family therapist in Lakewood, OH now, and be seeing a counselor as soon as tomorrow. Thriveworks can schedule appointments in as little as 24-48 hours. We also offer benefits like the ability to contact your counselor via email or phone between sessions, and a flexible cancellation policy. You can even schedule online therapy sessions if it’s more convenient for all your family members to meet up virtually.
It’s always a great time to start working on strengthening your family bonds with the help of a Thriveworks mental health provider in Lakewood, OH. We look forward to helping you and your loved ones.