If you are any group that cares about one another and see yourselves as a family then you’re a family to us. Family might include grandparents, children, uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers, cousins, carers and friends.
Family therapy doesn’t mean that all the family needs to attend each therapy session. Sometimes it helps for the identified family group to be with the therapist, or a couple of family members might attend or individual sessions might be arranged e.g. for a child, depending on preference. The aim is to allow all the family - adults, young people and children - to feel comfortable and talk openly.
Talking therapy can help you strengthen family relationships and live better together.
It is possible, with a little help, to improve understanding and find ways forward that work whatever difficulties your family is having. The issues might revolve around family relationships, or around one family member experiencing problems, or changing circumstances (such as loss of income or separation/divorce) might be affecting the whole family.
Family therapy often produces helpful changes so, as a family, you can communicate better, build on strengths and relate better. Your family therapist won’t take sides and will help you talk about difficult issues in a safe space.
Your family therapist can help you talk honestly together so that each of you can express your feelings and thoughts and what you would like.
You’ll learn how to
Each family member has strengths and positive contributions to make. Sometimes views of each other become stuck and positive aspects of personality or behaviour and changes for the better might be overlooked. In fact sometimes a particular family member might only be seen in a negative way by the rest of the family group, becoming a sort of scapegoat.
Family therapy can help each family member to have
This helps you as a group recognise what’s good, how can it be strengthened - not what’s wrong. This change in family perspective helps build a stronger foundation for a better future together.
Family therapy helps members of the family group appreciate each other’s needs and be different together. You all interact to make the relationships how they are, you can all contribute to making them better.
Therapy can help you
The aim of therapy is to develop relationships that are mutually understanding and strong enough to cope with difficulties.
Or maybe self-help is enough for you right now. Try these quick wellbeing tips.
A family therapist helps families understand and support each other. The therapist will enable family members to express how they think and feel about a difficult situation in a safe place. The emphasis is on facilitating family members’ understanding of each other’s experiences and perspectives and learning to acknowledge each other’s needs.
When this happens, it’s easier to improve relationships in the group, realise each family member has strengths to build upon, and together, you can overcome distressing or difficult issues.
What sort of difficult or distressing issues are we talking about? Parents might have relationship issues, there might be adult or child/adolescent behaviour or mental health difficulties, illness or disability in the family might cause stress and relationship breakdown between family members.These are just a few of the areas a family therapist can help relieve.
It’s useful to know that not all family members need to be present at each therapy session. It’s quite usual for the therapist to see a family group for a first session or two, then invite specific members to attend before bringing the group back together again at intervals.
Family therapists use approaches which build relationships in inclusive and enabling ways. Everyone is encouraged to have their voice heard at their own pace. Sessions for children may involve play or drawing. The emphasis is on reducing conflict and building individual and group strengths to encourage change and improve relationships.
At Re...root each family therapy session is £120. The session is usually 50 minutes but the first session may last a little longer.
This depends on the depth and duration of issues. Therapy may last six sessions, until all family members are open to change. With more complex situations, therapy may last longer with sessions occurring less often. Talk to your therapist when you want therapy to end or think the work you’ve done is sufficient.
If you’re searching for family counselling online, it’s an indication that things could be better at home and family dynamics aren’t running smoothly. When a family situation gets like this, it’s good to seek help. If members of your family are willing to engage in therapy, that’s a great start.
Your Re...root therapist will never keep you stuck in therapy or tell you they can help if they’re not the right person. If you start family therapy and your circumstances change or you simply don’t want to continue, all your family therapist will ask for is two sessions’ notice to round off the work and make what learning you can take from the therapy as sustainable as possible. You also need to have realistic expectations as it’s unlikely your therapist will resolve an issue in two or three sessions.