Family therapy is a field of psychotherapy. Through family therapy, families or individuals within a family learn better ways to interact with each other and resolve conflicts. Family therapy is usually provided by clinical social workers or licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists.
Family therapy may include all family members or just those most able to participate. The specific treatment plan will depend on a particular family's situation. You can use family therapy to address many specific issues, such as marital and financial problems, conflict between parents and children, and the effects of substance abuse and depression on the entire family.
Working with a therapist, you'll examine your family's ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions. You may explore family roles, rules and behavior patterns in order to identify issues that contribute to conflict, as well as ways to work through these issues. Family therapy may help you identify your family's strengths, such as caring for one another, and weaknesses, such as difficulty confiding in one another.
Family therapy is often short term, typically less than six months. The specific treatment plan will depend on your family's situation.
Family therapy can help you pinpoint your specific concerns and assess how your family is handling them. Guided by your therapist, you'll learn new ways to interact and overcome unhealthy patterns of relating to each other. You may set individual and family goals and work on ways to achieve them. In the end, the entire family may achieve a sense of understanding and togetherness.