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Frequently Asked Questions About Finding The Right Family Therapist

If your family is going through a difficult time – whether it may be problems with your marriage or behavioral issues with your child – then you may want to consider family therapy. Also known as family counseling, this form of therapy is designed to help families address specific issues,
resolve conflicts, and maintain healthy relationships.

A family therapist can be a psychologist, social worker, or therapist with specialized training in addressing family issues. They should have a minimum level of experience in treating child and adolescent problems, grief, mood disorders, domestic violence, gender issues, marital conflict,
and substance abuse.

A family therapist places particular emphasis on understanding the individual’s problems in the family unit context. They approach any issue as a symptom of a much larger problem that needs to be addressed. If your child is acting up at a school, a family therapist might try to uncover what may be happening at home that causes him to behave that way.

If parents struggle at work, they can look at how the children have stepped up in terms of their responsibilities at home.

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Each family dynamic is different. Although some still subscribe to the nuclear family model, a growing number of families are exploring alternative ways of parenting and raising their children, creating complex systems, patterns, and dynamics.

The methods a family therapist may use will depend on the problem presented by the client. They can adapt their techniques to your family's unique situation. The problem doesn’t necessarily have to be of significant magnitude or severity; a family therapist can help families process everyday setbacks.

Once the family has allowed the therapist into their inner circle, a family therapist can gain insight into how the family operates. Perhaps, it might not be easy to see the root of a problem from the inside looking in.

However, a therapist is in a strong position to spot patterns that may be too entrenched for family members to recognize and recommend steps to work through problems as a collective.

If you’re searching for a good family therapist, look for a professional with clinical and therapeutic experience in resolving the kind of problems your family is facing. To help you make a more informed decision, we compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about family therapy.

Do we need family therapy?

Family therapy can be a useful tool for improving or solving problems in communication and your family dynamics. Although it can’t take away your questions, it can provide family members with new abilities to surpass difficult circumstances in healthier ways.

How do you tell if a therapist is right for you?

A therapist is right for you if they can ensure your safety, are competent, and create a sense of connection. Your therapist should be a person with whom you can be authentic and who won’t judge you. If you feel comfortable opening up to your therapist, it is also a good indication that they’re the right fit.

Can family members go to the same therapist?

Having the same therapist can give you security and safety, knowing that a family member trusts them. Going to a similar therapist as your family enables you to be more comfortable opening up.

What are the disadvantages of family therapy?

Family therapy can cause issues among the family if one member refuses to cooperate. It can also temporarily intensify family issues as unhealthy behaviors and patterns become more visible. However, these disadvantages would not persist for long with the help of a qualified therapist.

What are the techniques used in family therapy?

There are various family therapy techniques, but four main models dominate the spectrum: strategic, systematic, structural, and Bowenian. These techniques are effective ways to address family conflicts.

What happens in family therapy?

This type of therapy allows you to examine your family’s ability to communicate with one another and solve problems. Family therapy is an excellent avenue to learn family roles and behavior patterns to determine issues that contribute to family conflicts.

What is the difference between family therapy and individual therapy?

Individual therapy only focuses on the needs of one person. Meanwhile, family therapy handles an entire family or several of its members. Sometimes a person may be included in both therapies.

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How does family systems therapy work?

Family therapy views the family as one emotional system. During family systems therapy, the family members work together to understand one another and how their actions can affect others. The family explores together to develop a solution for their problems.

What does a functional family look like?

There are several characteristics to identify a well-functioning family fully. Some include emotional and moral support, love, concern for the family members, a sense of belongingness, open communication, and making each person feel important, valued, and respected.

What is the importance of family therapy?

Family therapy can help improve your relationships with your partner, children, or other family members. In this therapy, you can also address issues that affect the entire family.

Does family therapy really work?

Family therapy can help the family to face and solve challenging situations that might cause stress and conflict. Through this type of therapy, the family can better understand and learn how to cope with disagreements better.

What are the key concepts of family systems theory?

In family systems theory, they recognize that family functions as an emotional system wherein each family member have a specific role. According to the system’s roles, members are expected to communicate and interact in a particular way.

What are the 6 functions of the family?

The family’s six functions are socialization, behavior rules, interaction patterns, emotional support, economic and reproductive function. These are essential functions that are expected of each family.

What are the 4 basic functions of a family?

The four functions include regulation of sexual activity, socializing, reproduction, and economic and emotional security. These functions are important in preserving society’s social stability.

Our families provide the blueprint for the person we are today. Some of us are extremely lucky to be born into a loving and supportive family, while others may not be as fortunate and have dysfunctional family relationships.

But even the happiest of families still have problems. You might take these dysfunctional characteristics as a permanent feature of your family, but this should not be the case. It might range from a parent’s tendency to dismiss their child’s opinion to a teen who does not know how to communicate with her parents.

Left unaddressed, these small misunderstandings and tensions can snowball into irreparable fractures.

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A family therapist takes on several hats – challenger, supporter, interpreter, re-integrator, and educator – to bring the family’s inner workings to the surface. Slowly, they get the family members to a mutual understanding of the problem through various interventions.

By exploring the interactional dynamics in a family and the unspoken set of rules that govern behavior, a family therapist can restructure unhealthy systems and set clear boundaries that work for everyone. They also focus on improving communication skills and building trust to create a more functional home environment.

It’s important to note that a family therapist does not have all the answers, nor do they offer quick fixes. They set out to strengthen the family’s internal resources to resolve future problems without the help of a therapist.

Overall, the goal of family therapy is to improve relationships over the long run. By setting the building blocks, it is hoped that the family is in a better place to respond in healthier ways when a crisis strikes. More importantly, a child that grows up in a healthy and happy family is more likely to apply
those same lessons when he starts a family of his own.

After all, we look to our parents or guardians for guidance in raising our children. That’s why if you want to improve your relationship with your family, it’s worth looking into family therapy.

How Your Family Can Deal With Cabin Fever During A Pandemic

The world suddenly stopped. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal to the world as a whole. To avoid the spread of the virus, governments now implement strict social distancing, quarantines, and lockdowns. Suddenly, the kids had to study at home rather than going to school. Our homes transformed into our offices. Remember when we all wished our lives to pause, who knew all of this would happen?

The situation is far from the ideal break we had in mind. Yes, we wished for more time with our families to bond, but we envisioned this in our dream destination. We all wanted to go on a vacation with our families, bringing home memories from exploring a new city, tasting new cuisines, and merely sharing new experiences. But we are all currently stuck in our homes, and movement is minimal.

The pandemic has forced families to stay at home for everyone’s safety. However, this could also lead to family issues resulting from our prolonged isolation. A term called cabin fever has been used, especially during the winter. Merriam-Webster defines it as a state of being irritable and restless because of living in a limited area for an extended time. To make things worse, the uncertainty that the threat of the virus brings also adds to everyone’s anxiety. Due to the more extended hours than usual that we spend with our families, tension could arise even from the simplest of things.

We do not need additional stress during this time. That is why we all need to make the most of the time we have of our families. Instead of thinking of what we rather are doing, we could think of ways to avoid cabin fever and create sweet memories in the comfort of our homes. We do not need to travel the world to have the best experience of our lives. We need the company of our loved ones while staying safe and healthy during this pandemic. The goal is to create a nourishing home away from the danger and fear the virus brings.

We listed some activities you and your family might enjoy avoiding cabin fever during the quarantine.

Try Something New

Have you ever tried indoor camping? This activity might be exciting, especially for the kids. Go all out by setting up a tent indoor. Of course, do not forget your picnic basket! Preparing your meals could also be an additional family activity. Everyone can contribute a meal or snack for the picnic basket.

Stacey Simmons, MA, Ph.D., LMFT, APCC, advises, “Be sure to have a balanced schedule, and one that gives you plenty of room for experimentation.” For an added challenge, each member could create their recipe using one ingredient from your pandemic supply. Who knows, this might even ignite a child’s passion for cooking!

Source: media.defense.gov

Online Parties

The quarantine prohibited us from meeting our extended families, at least physically. But the good news is technology allows us to connect even from a distance. There is a high possibility that our relatives, even if located miles away, are also in quarantine. We could use this time to reconnect with our relatives by inviting them for video calls with the entire family. This virtual family reunion is a chance to catch up with our relatives and reminisce about old times. By conducting these online family parties, we could even save money from travel and hotel accommodations. Make sure to snap that modern family portrait during your online sessions!

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Exercise

The long hours we are stuck at home have probably resulted in a routine of eating, sleeping, and binge-watching. Although these are also great ways to bond with our families, we should also take care of our health. Besides, we have to keep a healthy immune system during this crisis.

A great way of making sure that we remain fit is to set a schedule for your family exercise. You may choose from learning a dance routine together, following a fitness video, or even just doing different exercises together. The important thing is that you spend a set time to exercise with your family. Incorporating physical activities into your family’s daily routine does not only result in being physically fit but also leads to the production of endorphins or “happy hormones,” which are much needed to avoid cabin fever.

Source: media.defense.gov

The world outside may have stopped, but with our families, we could still create a world of our own in our homes. No matter how harsh and uncertain the circumstances are, we could always make the best of what we have. Time is a luxury we now have, make sure to use it to avoid the fever and enjoy the cabin.

Psychology Of Love: How To Make Your Family Love Your Boyfriend

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Psychology practically wants to tell everyone that love comes in various forms and intensities. You can find a lost puppy in the streets and fall in love with it. You may meet the man of your dreams and wish to have him in your life for the rest of eternity. For sure, you also feel love towards your family members who have been by your side since day 1 and never leave you, come what may. “Love makes you feel as if you can do anything,” says Carly Spindel, a dating and relationship expert.

The thing is, even though you have enough space in your heart to love different individuals at once, there may still be times when you find yourself in the middle of chaos because of this love as well. That is especially true if your parents do not seem to approve of your boyfriend.

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I know it is not common for women who are in love to listen to their family members once they are head over heels for a guy. You tend to hear comments like “You can’t tell me what to do” and “He loves me more than you realize” when a relative asks about the integrity of their partner. However, if you do not want to have to choose between your boyfriend and your family, here are a few tips to ensure that everyone at home will adore your man as much as you do.

1. Make Sure That He Is A Good Guy

The first thing that you should focus on before even introducing a man to your parents and the rest of the brood is making sure that you are with a good guy. In other words, the guy respects you as a woman, tries to cheer you up whenever you feel sad, and is willing to do anything to see your smile. According to  Kurt Smith, Psy.D., LMFT, LPCC, AFC, “There will be trying times and even bad times that we will need to work through together. The key to surviving these times is to remember to be respectful, acknowledge our commitment, and work through whatever is at hand together.”

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It is mostly in the movies that you will see family members looking down on the lead girl’s love interest because of his looks or financial status. In real life, your mom and dad merely need to get a guarantee that you will be happier than ever with this man beside you. If you know that your boyfriend has such qualities, then there’s no way for the old folks to disregard him. Nevertheless, in case you realize the opposite, don’t waste another minute to reevaluate your relationship before your family even gets wind of it.

2. Plan The First Introduction With Your Boyfriend

Considering your man passes the “preliminary inspection” and you feel like it is time to do a little meet-and-greet session with your relatives, you should discuss it with him first. One reason is that you do not want to scare the guy away. Some men are typically afraid of getting introduced to the family of their girlfriend for the first time, no matter how genuine their feelings are towards the woman. Others simply do not wish to be put on the spot and go to your parents’ house without even knowing a thing about them.

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Source: flickr.com

What you should do, therefore, is have a sit-down meeting with your boyfriend one day and mention your desire to introduce him to your family. Assuming he agrees to it, you can both decide if you will visit your folks’ place or prepare everything in a restaurant. Now may be the best time to pull up photos of your relatives and describe each of them so that the man can figure out how to act around everyone.

3. Don’t Hide The Relationship To Your Family For Too Long

Another tip from verywellfamily site that you should not forget is that you need to come out and inform your family about your new relationship as soon as things become serious with you and your man. For one, you cannot let another soul reveal it to the people you love before you do. Aside from that putting you at risk of being gossiped about, your parents may not appreciate the fact that they have had to learn about it from someone else. It is good to try to ensure that this coupling will last, but you cannot allow your family to be out of the loop for too long.

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In The End

According to Susan Winter, coaching professional, an expert that’s been consulted by Oprah, the NY Times and the Today show, “relationships are organic. They shift and evolve due to circumstances. You can start off being in-love with someone, then falling into a comfortable pattern of loving them, but not necessarily feel that initial in-love spark any more.” You ought to understand that you cannot force anyone to see your boyfriend the same way that you do. Whether you come from a conservative family or not, it may take time for your brothers, sisters, and parents to warm up to someone they have just met. In case they have already rejected your boyfriend before, that should not stop you from praying and showing them that your man is the right one for you. If he genuinely is that type of guy for you, everyone will notice it in time and bless your relationship.

Role Of Television In The Future Of Functional Family Through Values Formation

Growing up watching The Bill Cosby Show left me wondering, “What if I got a family just like that?” It would indeed be a happy home filled with love and sound of laughter. I love the Huxtable’s modern parenting style, raising smart kids with so much love, openness, and understanding. It’s going to be a family you would be excited to go home to after a busy and exhausting day.

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Leaving Your Dysfunctional Life

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We all are social creatures.  We always want to be around people, especially our own family, whether it’s a functional or a dysfunctional family.  We feel stuck with them and feel responsible for them, and there is nothing wrong with that. “An individual is functional when they are able to effectively work toward realizing valued goal states, given the stressors and affordances they face,” according to Gregg Henriques Ph.D.

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Dysfunctional Family VS. This Functional Family

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We all know that a perfect family doesn’t exist, but some parents try to build one for their kids’ sake, and that’s not bad.  According to psychologist Elvira G. Aletta, Ph.D., “No family is perfect, even the functioning ones.” Almost everybody dreams to be in a nuclear family living in a house with beautiful surroundings, the father working and the mother just stay at home to take care of the kids.  Read More