Helping families to grow stronger
Goals of family therapy are:
- Improve communication in the family
- Increase understanding
- Stronger relationships
- Increased support
Family therapy applies these goals to each and every member of the family. An individual therapist for mental illness or addiction often only works with the individual whereas a family therapist assists the family to reach goals based upon their values and core beliefs.
As family therapy progresses, these families grow stronger and more connected, which can make that form of caregiving easier. A relapse into mental illness can be less likely but when it does occur, the family knows just what to do to deal with the issue.
Families are considered as systems in family therapy whereupon each individual within the system has an influence
The effectiveness of this approach has been demonstrated in study after study. For example, a study of people with schizophrenia, as published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry found that 48 percent of people who did not receive family therapy relapsed into symptoms within six months. None of those who received family therapy relapsed. The support of a family is crucial in recovery.
Family therapy can also be very helpful in cases of substance abuse and addiction. Families impacted by addiction may respond with anger, dismay or guilt, and the group may find it extremely difficult to trust one another and work together once this damage has been allowed to go on for months or even years. Family therapy can break through those barriers and help the group to function more effectively.
South West Psychology has three trained Family Therapists that are able to provide family therapy.