Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic staff
Family therapy can help you improve troubled relationships with your spouse, children, or other family members. You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflict between parents and children, or the effects of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family.
Your family may pursue family therapy along with other types of mental health treatment, especially if one of you has a mental illness or addiction that also requires individual therapy or rehabilitation treatment. For example, family therapy can help family members cope if a relative has schizophrenia — but the person who has schizophrenia should continue with his or her individualized treatment plan, which may include medications, one-on-one counseling or other treatment.
In the case of addiction, the family can attend family therapy while the person who has an addiction participates in residential treatment. Sometimes the family may participate in family therapy even if the addicted person hasn't sought out his or her own treatment.
Family therapy can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.
- Qualifications and FAQs. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. http://www.aamft.org/imis15/Content/About_AAMFT/Qualifications.aspx/. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- Josephson AM. Family therapy. In: Sadock BJ, et al. Kaplan & Sadock's Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2005:3352.
- Psychotherapies. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/psychotherapies/index.shtml. Accessed July 18, 2011.
- Family and couples therapy for treating depressed adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed July 18, 2011.