What is Family Therapy, and How Can it Help My Loved Ones and I?
It’s common for families to have trouble sometimes. Whether you’re related by blood, marriage, or adoption, every person within the family is different. This can lead to great conversations, learning from one another, and friendships that will last a lifetime.
On the other hand, these differences can lead to personality conflicts, stress, worry, and a whole host of other interpersonal problems. If your family here in Cheyenne, Wyoming is having trouble, then family therapy might be worth a try. We’ve seen its positive effects before, and believe it can help you and your family form healthy, positive communication habits, coping strategies, and relationships.
When Is Marriage & Family Therapy Used?
There are all sorts of uses for marriage and family therapy. The first one that comes to the minds of most people is to help families that are struggling interpersonally. This is a wonderful use for this therapy, and it helps a lot of people!
Marriage and family therapy is also used to help people and families that are struggling with other issues. These include behavioral problems (of one family member or several), substance abuse and recovery, and dealing with significant stresses such as job loss, coping with a parent’s/grandparent’s dementia, a recent adoption, etc.
Seeking Therapy Is a Good Thing
There is no reason to be ashamed of seeking therapy, whether it’s individual, marital, or family. We want to help families stay strong and weather the storms of life together. All of us need help in life. Humans are social creatures – we aren’t meant to do it all alone! Getting help is a wise decision that will better your own life and the lives of your loved ones.
What Should I Expect?
Typically, marriage and family therapy is short-term. The average is 12 sessions, but you may need more or fewer depending on your family’s challenges and progress.
During the first session, your therapist will meet with the entire family and discuss your challenges. This gives them a chance to get to know each person, observe your interactions with each other, and get the perspective of every person on problems the family is trying to tackle.
During subsequent sessions, you’ll meet at the direction of your therapist. They may choose to meet with only one person, a few family members at a time, or the entire family. During these sessions, the therapist will help family members know what they can share with everyone, and what should be kept confidential.
The goal of this therapy is to help family members not only discover areas of conflict, but understand why conflict happens. Throughout the process, every family member will discover what they can do to talk through issues, stay calm in the face of conflict, seek to understand others’ points of view, and express their love and care for each other.
If there are special circumstances, (such as substance abuse and addiction recovery) family members can learn how to support each other and help the affected person succeed.
What to Look For in a Therapist
Any marriage and family therapist you go to should have at least a master’s degree, if not a doctorate. They also should have had previous training (3,000+ hours) in this kind of therapy, all under the supervision of a practicing counselor.
Your first session will tell you a lot about the therapist you’ve chosen. They should be competent, and demonstrate skill in navigating potentially rough interpersonal situations. You should also get the sense that the counselor cares about you and your loved ones, and wants what is best for you.
Note: every therapist has a different style. However, if you’re not receiving any actionable takeaways from sessions and aren’t seeing results after a few sessions, it may be time to find a different therapist.
How We Can Help
Our counselors are trained in marriage and family therapy, and want to help you succeed. We would love to help any family in (and around) Cheyenne, Wyoming. Every family is different, and we recognize that. You may have a nuclear family, be a single parent, have one or more adopted children, or have any number of factors that make you unique. At Capitol Counseling, we don’t discriminate at all, and will make sure you feel welcome here.
Earlier, we mentioned several different reasons that marriage and family therapy can be used to help people. These include:
- Interpersonal struggles
- Substance abuse
- Addiction recovery
- Stressful life events, such as job loss or illness
- Helping a family cope with elder care
- And more
There are many reasons besides this list to seek therapy. We have seen the benefits of it in many situations, and encourage anyone who may be wondering if it’s the right course of action to contact our office. Our professionals will help you know if family therapy is right for you and your loved ones.
If you have any questions about family therapy, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 307-631-5574!