3 Ways Family Therapy is Often Misunderstood

People new to therapy often don’t know what to expect. They only know what they have heard about it. But there are many misconceptions surrounding family therapy, and I am going to debunk 3 of the biggest ones now.

1. Family Therapy Takes a Long Time Before You Get Results

Many people’s perception of therapy is of someone laying on a therapist’s couch for years, attempting to work out their numerous problems. So, when parents hear the phrase “family therapy,” they assume it is another form of ‘infinite therapy.’ But not all therapy takes a long before offering positive results.

In fact, from its very beginnings, family therapy has always been considered “brief therapy.” The goal of family therapists is to quickly resolve conflicts within a family, offering skills and tools to family members so they may move on to live healthier, happier lives.

2. Family Therapy is All About Blaming Parents for Children’s Problems

Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding about family therapy is assuming each session will focus on blaming them for their children’s problems.

This desire to stay away from blame is understandable. After all, parents of children who are having problems already feel terrible and guilty over their child’s struggles, they certainly don’t want the finger pointed at them or labeled dysfunctional.

But the goal of family therapists is not to place blame, but rather to ensure each individual is heard. While it may be necessary to point out areas where parents could adapt and grow, a therapist is ultimately there to work collaboratively with parents to bring about positive change.

3. The Whole Family Must be There at Every Session

Talk about a scheduling problem! The thought of having to get every single member of the family in the same room at the same time each week is a nightmare to most parents, who find it hard enough to get everyone to sit down together at the dinner table.

While some therapists prefer everyone be there, few assume you can make this happen. Sometimes parents and a child or children will be in the session together, and sometimes it may be just the parents, or only one of the parents. A good therapist understands the complexities of family life and will be flexible in working with everyone’s schedules.

Family therapy is quite different from individual talk therapy, and much of what you may have heard about it is simply not true. Family therapy is can quickly bring about positive changes and allow family members to reconnect and heal dynamics.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.

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