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.
It’s interesting to imagine how certain cartoon families might have behaved if they’d had access to family therapy. For example, would Fred Flintstone have been so quick to anger? And would Wilma Flintstone have been so jealous? Maybe Pebbles Flintstone wouldn’t have felt so determined to marry Bamm-Bamm Rubble if her own caveman father hadn’t modeled aggressive behavior. Perhaps they all could have benefited from a family counselor’s support and guidance. The show might have been less dramatic, but the family itself would have been a lot healthier—and happier.
Family therapists at Thriveworks in Vancouver, WA have the expertise to identify underlying patterns, roles, and conflicts within family units. These professional counselors serve as educators, mediators, and problem-solvers during sessions. They’re trained to understand how families might operate as their own system or unit, and how individual members function within those same families. If your family is facing hardship, dysfunction, or just needs a little TLC, a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) at Thriveworks in Vancouver, WA is here to help.
How Can a Family Counselor Help My Family?
A family therapist’s primary objective really depends on what you and your loved ones are looking for. Different family members may approach therapy with specific goals in mind. A family therapist at Thriveworks in Vancouver, WA is going to ask a lot of questions in order to understand what everyone wants to get out of therapy. Here are some examples of needs that might motivate one or many of you to seek relationship counseling:
- I want to build trust.
- I want to establish healthy boundaries.
- I want to learn how to be a better parent.
- I want to build consistency in my parenting.
- I want to address past confusions and misunderstandings.
- I want to learn how to resolve conflicts better.
- I want to stop having the same fights over and over.
- I want to understand my loved ones better.
- I want my loved ones to understand me better.
- I want to learn to manage my anger.
- I want to forgive.
- I want to reduce tension at home.
- I want my kids to grow up in a safe, secure environment.
- I don’t want my kids to repeat my mistakes.
- I want to feel loved and appreciated.
- I want to learn to harness my family’s strengths.
No goal is too big or too small for family therapy. You may just want to quit arguing with your mother-in-law about doing the dishes. Or you may think that you and your husband are headed for divorce and you want to mitigate the emotional impact on your children. Chances are that your Thriveworks counselor has already worked with a family undergoing similar struggles and they’re more than qualified to help you and your loved ones.
What to Expect from Family Therapy
In family therapy, you can expect short-term, solution-focused therapy aimed at addressing communication issues, conflicts, or whatever else you bring to the session. What you shouldn’t expect is a counselor telling you that you’re right and your partner/kid/father-in-law is wrong, or vice versa. Family therapy isn’t about blame or punishment. It’s about solving family problems in a safe, secure, supportive environment—with a top-rated family counselor at Thriveworks who knows exactly what they’re doing.
So what do these specialized counselors do? Well, family therapy can sometimes work like this:
- You notice a problem in your family.
- Your efforts to fix said problem are a dismal failure. In fact, you might just be making things worse.
- You schedule an initial session with a family counselor at Thriveworks in Vancouver, WA.
- The counselor asks you all about the problem, and about its background and context.
- The counselor asks you about your feelings about the problem.
- Your counselor uses evidence-based therapeutic techniques to gain further insight into the problem.
- Your counselor proposes a treatment plan—concrete steps you can take—to resolve the problem.
- You resolve the problem in fewer than 12 sessions and family harmony is restored. (The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports a family therapy success rate of almost 90%.) You also learn ways to prevent further problems.
Can We Do Family Therapy Online?
Yes, many busy families opt to do their family therapy sessions online at Thriveworks in Vancouver, WA. It’s a way of getting everyone to the same place, at the same time, without requiring excessive coordination of schedules and transportation. You just need a good internet connection to join your family members at the appointments. And many effective activities that therapists implement in their sessions can be adapted to work online as well.
Book Thriveworks Family Therapy for You and Your Loved Ones
Thriveworks family therapists in Vancouver, WA don’t give reluctant family members time to change their minds—clients often see their counselors for the first time within 24-48 hours. And Thriveworks encourages its clients to reach out to therapists by email or phone between sessions. Our mental health providers want to be available to you whenever you need them.
Other Thriveworks benefits include our Ask-a-coach 24hr Q&A feature and in-person care at over 240 brick-and-mortar locations. Call us today to find out how Thriveworks can help your family.