A Friend Is Not a Family Therapist

Updated October 6, 2022 by BetterHelp Editorial Team

What Is Family Therapy?

Family Friend Or Family Therapist - When Can They Help Most?

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the family unit and how of that unit relate to one another and communicate. It involves more than one client. A family therapist is trained to work with families and help them form a healthy dynamic so that they can function well. You might want to talk to your friend about your family, and you might believe that because they're an empathetic person, they'll be able to help you understand the complex dynamics of your family, but as caring and nurturing as your friend is, they aren't a family therapist. A family therapist knows how to mediate problems between of the family and help them resolve a conflict.

What Is A Family Therapist Trained To Do?

A family therapist is trained to understand the complexities that families go through and help them mediate conflicts. A family therapist knows how to address marital issues for any client. If you're talking to your friend about issues in your marriage, they will understand, and they'll try to be empathetic, but they won't get how complex and intricate the problems in your marriage are or how to help you solve them because they aren't trained in marriage and family counseling. A family therapist may be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, or an LMFT, who knows how to mediate between couples, and it's not reasonable to expect your friend to be your couples counselor because it's not appropriate and they're not trained to do that.

What Is The Goal Of Family Therapy?

The goal of family therapy is to strengthen the bonds between the of a family unit, and it aims to help families overcome conflict and improve communication. Family therapy opens a dialogue that the family therapist begins and the family continue as a client. It's a safe place for of a family to voice their concerns so that they feel heard. The family therapist can help each of the family unit understand the different personalities that exist within it and resolve the conflict that might exist between them.

What Are The Benefits Of Family Therapy?

Unlike individual therapy, family therapy focuses on every of the same family that is present. A family therapist has to be unbiased and mediate a conflict between everyone who's present during a session. It's beneficial because you're not talking about the issues that you have with your family in a vacuum. Instead, you're able to address it then and there over the course of several sessions. A family therapist can explain a family point of view to you and vice versa. In individual therapy, you can talk about an issue within your family, but you might not remember everything your therapist tells you once you leave a session. Your friends aren't able to mediate a conflict between your entire family because that's not what they're there to do and they're not trained in that way.

What To Expect In Family Therapy

Expect that all of your family will hear your voice. Your family therapist wants to create an unbiased environment in which everyone gets to say what they think and feel. It's not about you, and it's not about any other sole individual in your family. It's about coming to a compromise, and families need to work together to function. This factor is essential to the well-being of your family relationship. If they don't, it becomes a dysfunctional dynamic. If your family isn't functioning well, a family therapist can help you understand problems that arise and work to solve them. Every person in the family is the client, and each client will get time to speak about their thoughts and feelings and goals for the overall family relationship.

Online Counseling

Family Friend Or Family Therapist - When Can They Help Most?

Online counseling is an excellent place to receive family therapy as a client. You and the of your family can candidly speak with an online therapist and talk about what's working and what isn't, and you can decide what to do next. Don't be scared if you have a conflict with a family - or be scared, but understand that a family therapist wants to help you. Rather than talking to your friends about your complex family issues, speak to an LMFT. Search the network of online therapists at BetterHelp and find the right fit for you who can help you resolve these conflicts.

Questions People Often Ask On This Topic:

Can a therapist treat of the same family?
Can a therapist treat someone they know?
Can a therapist treat 2 family?
Can your therapist be a family friend?
Should a therapist treat family?
Can a therapist treat a couple individually?
What you should never tell your therapist?
Can my therapist be my friend?
Are therapists allowed to tell parents?
Can a psychologist diagnose family?

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