Family Therapy – Edmonton

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Family Therapy

Family therapy is a form of treatment that involves all members of the family rather than a single person alone. Therapy helps the whole family make the necessary changes and in turn, the therapist may work with the various subsystems of a family, based on what the issues are and based on who is most involved with the issues.

Often mental health problems are hard to change without support from the family. This is because each family has a set of behaviors and rules that they use with its members. The family system of behaviors and rules are habits that family members may not think about, but they keep acting on.

Most of the family’s behaviors may be healthy, but some may need to change for a child to get better. Many child and adolescent problems improve a great deal when the family dynamics change and when the family learns new ways/behaviours to help the child make positive changes.

The therapist may give the family homework to try between sessions, which is often designed to help the family understand their typical patterns of interaction or the homework instructs that the family practice new patterns of behaviours/interaction.

Family therapy may be the best treatment when a child or adolescent:

  • Is aggressive or has difficulty following rules.
  • Has experienced a family change such as a divorce, death in the family, or a move.
  • Has anxiety or worries most of the time.
  • Has an eating disorder.
  • Has suicidal thoughts or feels depressed.
  • Has a medical problem which is worsened by psychological factors.
  • Is abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Is confused by the rules that he/she may have in a separated/blended family situation.
  • Plays one parent against the other.

Family therapy is also appropriate for parents who are struggling to:

  • Communicate with their child or adolescent.
  • Parent and/or discipline their child or adolescent.
  • Navigate divorced/separated/blended family issues.
  • Problem solve or resolve conflict.
  • Set appropriate boundaries for their child or adolescent.
  • Feel competent and effective about their parenting.
  • Connect with one another after having a child.

 

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