How Family Therapy Helps Parents and Kids Alike

How Family Therapy Helps Parents and Kids Alike

by Lisa Davis, March 24, 2020

In the media, counseling is often portrayed as an individual process. It is something that T.V. characters turn to when they have serious issues or roadblocks in life. While therapy sessions can be deeply personal, they aren’t always done alone. Family therapy can help parents communicate better with each other and connect with their kids. Furthermore, your family doesn’t necessarily need to be in a crisis to seek out a professional counselor. 

Here are a few ways counseling can help families form stronger bonds and face challenges together.

1. You Can Change Your Family Dynamic

Many people come to therapy because they don’t know how to break out of bad habits. The family dynamic they currently have is the one they are used to. Our counselors work to identify these toxic behaviors and ask families to take steps to change them. This intervention is meant to help a family as a whole by realigning them with healthy communication and bonding techniques. 

2. You Can Avoid Singling Out Family Members

It is common for family members to point fingers at each other when they are having problems. They might lead with “you” statements like, “you always say…” or “if you would stop…”

Group therapy as a family works to avoid this isolation and finger-pointing. Every participant has opportunities to grow and improve and no one is singled out. This prevents family members from putting up walls or getting defensive against accusations. 

3. You Can Discover New Ways to Solve Conflict

Communication and conflict resolution are two of the biggest lessons that families walk away with through our counseling services. Participants learn how to voice their feelings while listening and validating the emotions of others. Everyone learns different conflict resolution techniques to find solutions in a healthy manner. 

Many kids mimic the problem-solving techniques and communication they see from their parents. This is why family therapy is a great way to reinforce healthy behaviors that kids can use as they get older.  

4. Your Family Can Prepare for Major Life Changes

Family therapy isn’t just for people who are having problems. Many parents and kids seek out counseling to prepare for major life changes and communicate their concerns. For example, if a child is moving out of the house or a parent is getting married again, therapy can help families talk about their worries and concerns about the upcoming change. It can make the process easier and help everyone get on the same page. 

5. Your Family Can Become a Support System

When people first walk through our doors, they often feel like their family members are a source of stress in their lives. Through counseling, we work to change that. We want people to see their family members as a support system to guide them through other challenges related to work, friendships, and relationships. 

We want to make each family stronger and improve communication skills so participants can ask for help and know-how to provide it.  

6. You Can Develop Your Relationship Toolkit

During the family therapy sessions, participants may receive homework assignments to work on as a group or individually. These assignments are meant to help families reinforce what they discussed during counseling and better understand each other. 

Practicing different communication techniques and activities can help families better address problems in the future. Therapy not only guides families through short-term crises, but it can also prepare them to tackle larger issues or problems in the future. The lessons can stay with you long after you leave.  

7. You Can Learn How Your Behavior Impacts Others

One of the main benefits of group counseling over individual therapy is that families can see how their behavior affects each other. Counselors can identify these negative actions and work through why people take them. Then they can look for alternatives that everyone can agree on. 

The self-awareness and emotional intelligence discussed during counseling can be applied outside of the family as well, benefiting your work relationships, school friendships, and other community connections. 

8. You Will Work Through the Scars of Long-Term Trauma

Most families don’t form toxic relationships overnight. Sometimes issues build up that aren’t addressed, while other times a significant event or trauma can lead to problems. Unhealed emotional wounds can form scars or change family dynamics, causing several years of stress and pain. 

Counselors will work to uncover the source of your family trauma. They may bring up difficult topics and ask you to work through them. This is all part of the process of healing and making sure your family is recovering in a safe, healthy way for everyone involved.  

9. Your Family Will Benefit From Different Sessions

When you participate in family therapy, you might not be needed in each session. Sometimes the counselor might want to just meet with younger kids, while other times just the parents are involved. There may even be some individual counseling. 

Every family is unique and has its own history and coping mechanisms. By forming an individual plan for healing, everyone can work together to communicate better and support each other.   

10. Family Therapy Can Especially Help Adolescents

Young people who are struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other issues can use family therapy to work through these issues with the help of their parents. This creates a safe space for everyone involved and gets to the root cause of these issues. It also allows the family to provide a unified front for each other, embracing younger family members instead of punishing or blaming them. 

Participate in Family Therapy Through Family Resources

Family Resources offers counseling services to residents in Pinellas and Manatee counties. Our services are free for many families and affordable for all. We also provide individual counseling for kids and teens ages 6-17. 

If you think your family could benefit from an objective, professional counseling source, reach out to Family Resources. Learn more about our family counseling services and request information to make an appointment.