Family Therapy:

Uncommon Is Common

In our current social structure the term “family” goes well beyond legally married heterosexual couples and their children. Contemporary families like gay and lesbian couples, single-parent-led families (divorced or never married), remarried families where children consider themselves parts of each household, un married but cohabitating partners (with or without children), families composed of brothers and sisters living together, widowed families, and others are more common than the “normal” family ideal of the 1950s’. While there is no specific definition for what passes as a “normal family” (because all families are different in their own way),  some families (regardless of type, ethnic or racial makeup, socioeconomic status, religion and spirituality, degree of education, or sexual orientation) are happier and more stable than others. So, while there my not be a “normal” family, there are families that experience happiness more than others.

Family Therapy

A family counselor should avoid trying to fit your family into some preconceived notion of how he/she believes your family should behave. Instead, your counselor should help your family see its strengths and learn how to be more flexible in seeking solutions for its issues. Your counselor should help your family learn to be more adaptive to changing conditions and better able to recover from misfortune or adversity. A variety of tools should be used to create an environment that allows your family to examine the meanings each member has given to their problem. Then the family should be directed in how they might better find a solution to their problem in a way that is manageable.

Interventions Are Not Therapy

Interventions are a form of forced behavior modification. A family therapy session (whether it be for abuse, alcoholism, anger management, communication issues, grief, etc) should be directed at the entire family, thus defusing the family’s emotional intensity and allowing its members to hear each other’s view of the problem(s). Each member has a different perception of the issue, so it is vital to hear each side of the story and how each member’s story is affecting them.

For more information on family therapy sessions, please contact me by phone or email.




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