Therapy for family issues: Can you navigate the storm together?

Is there therapy for family issues? how does it help? (Image via freepik/ freepik)
Is there therapy for family issues? How does it help? (Image via Freepik)

Is there therapy for addressing family issues? Yes, there is. Are all families dysfunctional? Not really. Can everyone benefit from this modality? Yes, definitely. While most of us try to manage these difficulties on our own, for some, it can impact the whole family at multiple levels.

We all look forward to going back to the comfort and safety of our homes, but what happens when our homes don't feel safe enough? In such situations, family therapy can be one of the options you can explore together as a unit.

Therapy for family issues: How can it help us?

In a storm of issues, can therapy help you? (Image via Freepik)
In a storm of issues, can therapy help you? (Image via Freepik)

The aim of family therapy can depend on your concerns, overall objective and type of modality you choose. However, at the end of the day, the primary goal is to enhance bonding and healing.

One very unique yet complicating factor about family therapy is the people who come in for it. While, individual therapy can be complex, a mental health professional has to work with only one person at a time. In family therapy, there can be as many as three to four people in the room.

There are many family issues you can seek therapy for, but the most common is a breakdown in communication. Are you a parent experience constant fights with your teenaged son or daughter? Are you feeling like they're further withdrawing from you? Family therapy can help you establish effective communication skills.

Sometimes, it can also be associated to managing major life transitions. Transfer from one place to another, loss of a loved one or even the birth of new member can bring about various challenges for the family.

At other times, it can be one individual in the family experiencing mental health issues. A very common reason for family issues is when a member develops addictions and their behavior impacts others.

When to seek therapy for family issues?

When is the right time to seek therapy for family issues? (Image via Freepik/Senivpetro)
When is the right time to seek therapy for family issues? (Image via Freepik/Senivpetro)

You may be wondering: what is the right time to seek family therapy? The time is right when you're all ready to seek it.

More than time, it's the readiness and willingness of family members to participate in therapy. If one or two members are resistant to starting therapy or don't necessarily see the family coming together, therapy is unlikely to work. Everyone must be on board and come for the sessions voluntarily.

A good time to seek help is when the concerns become 'big' in terms of the impact and intensity. If the conflicts have been building over time, there might be certain things that are keeping them going. A therapist can help you identify these cracks.

Most importantly, it's not one person's responsibility to fix the family's deep rooted concerns. While there are individual issues that may constantly affect the family, there are specific family issues (for instance, intergenerational trauma) that may affect all members through the years.

Family difficulties are experienced by everyone from time to time. However, if these concerns are interfering with your everyday life to the extent that all your family members remain disturbed, it may be time to seek professional consultation.

It's often the last resort for family members, but it can also be your first to recover as a family. Would you want to try it with your family as well?

Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.

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