Can Family Therapy Improve Your Family Dynamic?

By Samantha Dewitt|Updated April 20, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Guilbeault, LMHC

Does your family seem to struggle with their communication? Maybe you have young children and are struggling with their behavior. These are the kinds of issues a family therapist can help them with. Maybe a parent managing their substance use, or maybe they're going through a divorce, have a newly blended family, or aren't even sure what's going on, but think that the family could be healthier. 

No matter what it is that your family is going through, the short answer is that a family therapist can most definitely help you to improve the way that your family interacts with one another and the way that you continue to develop as a family.

What Is A Family Specialized Therapist?

Usually, when you go to therapy, the therapist that you're talking to is there for you and only you. They may talk about different thoughts, feelings and opinions you may have with a goal of making you a better person. But when you're talking about a family therapist, you're talking about someone who is trying to make your family unit stronger. The family therapist is looking at ways to make sure that each of you is positively interacting with one another, whether you are happy with each other at the moment or not.

A family therapist for your family is responsible for helping you to learn how to interact with one another no matter what the situation. After all, it's normal for a family to have disagreements, and you're likely going to fight once in a while. But if your family knows how to communicate more effectively, those disagreements can be reduced, and your family can learn how to understand one another. It's a lot more difficult to fight with family when you understand what the other person is saying and how the situation is affecting them.

Why You Might Want To See A Therapist As A Family

There are some different reasons that you might want a family therapist. If one member of your family is struggling with something, whether it's anger, depression, anxiety, eating disorder, substance use, alcohol use or anything else, it can affect the entire family. These kinds of behaviors cause the individual to act differently than the rest of the family may feel familiar with. Working through them as a family is also going to cause changes in behavior, and it's going to require family members to be sensitive and to react differently to experiences and interactions.

By going to see a family therapist your entire family will learn how to react when that struggling member of the family needs support or how to react when they seem to be slipping up. The members of your family will learn what it takes to provide them with what they need to be successful in achieving their goals and what they don't need (someone who is going to enable them). Going to a family therapist can help with these types of dynamics, but that's not the only reason that your family might want to see a therapist.

You can go to a family therapist if a member of your family has been diagnosed with an illness, or if you're going through a divorce or remarriage. Any of these situations can be extremely hard on a family, and the different thoughts and feelings that come from the members of the family can be difficult for any member of the family to articulate. That's when it can be a good idea to talk with the family therapist who can help to decipher some of the behaviors from different members of your family as their response to the situation.

Another important reason to see a family therapist is if your entire family seems to be struggling. Maybe you just don't know how to communicate with them. Maybe you think your child has an attitude, or they think you don't understand them. No matter what's going on, talking with a family therapist will help you and them learn to communicate more effectively as a family and start improving the relationship that you have so that you can create a stronger and healthier bond. Your family should never have to deal with constant fighting or even sporadic fighting that's intense or dangerous.

Interacting Effectively

When seeking a family therapist, it is important that you find a therapist who makes the whole family feel comfortable. This could be difficult, but you absolutely can find someone that your children, your partner and you like. Each of you is going to need to open up to the family therapist, and if you're not comfortable with them, that's not going to happen. When you open up, you need a therapist who is going to be just as receptive to what your family says as they are to you.

Try meeting with a family therapist at least a few times just to get informational sessions and to see how everyone seems to gel with them. They may even want to have individual sessions with members of the family to start with just to get a foundation of what's going on from everyone's point of view. By going through these sessions, you can get a better idea of how everyone in the family feels about the family therapist. 

As you continue to speak with a family therapist, you'll be able to learn more about yourself as well as about your family. The entire group of you will go through activities that are designed to help you understand them and them, you. Sure, your children are meant to grow up, but you should still be able to have a good relationship with them where you feel like you can talk and they will listen, or where they feel like they can come to you with anything that might be going on in their lives.

Getting The Professional Help Your Family Needs

Make sure that you're receptive to whatever is going on in the therapy sessions. Make sure that you give therapy a chance for the sake of every member of your family. You might think that some of the sessions or some of the homework is silly or unimportant, but you never know what it is that one of your family members needs to feel more secure or to start opening up a little bit more. Being open to the opportunities that arise when it comes to therapy is going to be the first and most important step along the way.

Also, make sure that you talk to your kids about their thoughts and feelings about therapy sessions. Find out what they think and what they like. Continue to try to talk to them and open up with them even when the therapy session is over. When you can show them that you're really trying to make changes with them, you're going to be closer to making a huge difference in all of your lives. And that's one of the goals of therapy.

When it comes to finding a family therapist the first thing you should do is start looking online. You may be surprised just what kind of therapist you can find when you broaden out your horizons and start looking at the options around the world. If you live in a small town, the options for a therapist could be very limited. Even if you live in a large town or city, it doesn't mean that someone is located close enough for you to go to them regularly. That's where online therapy excels.

BetterHelp Conclusion

With online therapy, you and your family can connect from anywhere with an internet connection. That can be great because it means that the family doesn't need to be in the same room to have a session either. It also means that you don't have to be in the same physical location as our therapist. You can just log on and hold your session from wherever you want. Whether that means you're having a session while on vacation, or it means you're having one from the comfort of your own home, you're going to have a whole lot more freedom.

All you need to do is log on to BetterHelp and find the therapist that's going to work out best for you and your family. Find someone that you can feel comfortable with, someone that you know is knowledgeable and experienced and definitely someone that is waiting to communicate with every member of your family. Improving your family dynamic is always a worthy goal. It's worthwhile to look for ways to improve the way that you communicate with your partner and with your children and to make sure that everyone knows that you're there for them and supporting them, every step of the way.

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