So, you have been guided to family therapy by your advisor. Or possibly you’ve finally got to the end of the ongoing battle and started looking for somebody to mediate. Either way, family therapy can be a new landscape for considerable people.
Do you feel fear and suspicion that the therapist is proceeding to “nail” you as a wrong parent? Are you already convinced that the therapist is going to “fix” your kid or your partner? Rest ensured, that if the therapist is accomplishing their assignment properly, neither is the purpose of family therapy.
So, what can you expect?
First, expect (or look for) a therapist who has training and background in family therapy. There are plenty of generalists out there who hang up a shingle and swear to treat everything and everybody without exact training or knowledge in it. That’s not what you’re searching for. You do not go to a general rule physician to treat cancer or diabetes. In an exact way, you should not go to a generalist to treat your family. Family therapy is very distinct from particular therapy and requires technical training and understanding. Your family is precious. That is why it deserves an adept, well-trained therapist who specializes in family therapy.
Two, hope your family therapist has a systemic view. They will see and work with your family as a system (a related whole). Family therapy is about interfering effectively in relationships. It assumes both individual and relational facts. The basic design for interventions in family therapy is established on two beliefs:
1. That the outcomes of one person’s judgments and actions can affect the lives of all the people who are especially related to them.
2. That satisfactory relating for one person is inseparable from the reliable consideration of outcomes for all of the people with whom he or she is in a meaningful relationship. (Boszormenyi-Nagy & Krasner, 1986).
Therefore, the family therapist should carry into carefulness the welfare of all those with whom the specified patient is in a meaningful relationship, whether they are attending the therapy or not.
Third, hope the family therapist avoids pathologizing and focuses additional on the relations of the family members than the “identified patient.” Many times, when relatives come to family therapy, they recognize one member as the trouble or the patient and just want the therapist to “fix” the issue or the specified patient. That is not how it should perform in family therapy. Desire the family therapist to look at the connections, the interactions, and the communication designs between the members of the family and moderate to improve them. The therapist may do so by employing every member of the family in the process.
Fourth, desire the family therapist to assume a strengths-based strategy. While you are likely coming to therapy because of what you perceive to be a difficulty, your family is more than the trouble. Your family has powers and internal resources that need to be carried into play, and your family therapist should assist you to find them.
Fifth, desire the family therapist to elicit and pay concentration to your emotions. A meaningful principle of family therapy is what we call “state-dependent learning,” the idea that people discover best about emotions when they are in emotional conditions. Emotions are essential in relationships and, therefore, in family therapy. They are not to be overlooked or ignored. Rather, they need to be carried out. Emotions are a confidential place for affecting modification in family relationships.
Sixth, predict the family therapist to settle close attention to the stories that you point out about yourselves and to look for outstanding outcomes. The stories that we tell about ourselves can be restricting or empowering. The family therapist will challenge those tales that are specified and help to pull out those stories that are assigned.
Finally, expect the family therapist to align with your desire for improved family functioning. There is a notion in family therapy named homeostasis, the thought that family systems work (often against the therapy) to repay to their best (dysfunctional) truth or configuration. However, Dr. John Gottman recommends that every family has two homeostatic resting places: a dysfunctional and a functional homeostatic point. The assignment of the family therapist is to align with and help you toward your passion for improved family functioning.
Boszormenyi-Nagy, I., & Krasner, B.R. (1986). Between Give and Take: A Clinical Guide to Contextual Therapy. New York: Brunnel/Mazel.