Why Family Therapy Is Beneficial
Most parents request individual counseling for their child when their child is struggling in some way. It could be behavioral issues, anxiety, failing grades, anger, etc. Many times parents are not aware that family counseling is also an option.
A Family therapist looks at the whole family system instead of just the “identified client”. They look to see if there is something in the family system that may be contributing and/or causing the child's behavioral symptoms.
Any system, whether it be a corporation, school, or organization will not function as well as it could if any part of the system is not working efficiently. If one part is broken the whole system is affected.
This is also true with family systems. If the system is broken in some way then the members of the family (children) will begin to act out that dysfunction.
A well-trained Family Therapist can identify what needs to be adjusted to create a healthy, functioning system that leads to harmony and peace within the family.
Let’s give an example: A child is brought to therapy for anxiety and/or behavioral issues. The child's parents also fight and argue on a daily basis. If the child is being seen individually, the therapist will not have the opportunity to address the cause of the child's symptoms.
In family therapy, the therapist can identify the issue between the parents, help to correct it, and get to the root cause of the child's anxiety and/or behavior issues.
How Family Therapy Creates A Healthy Family System
Structure: All systems need someone at the top to guide them effectively. Family systems need to be guided and directed by the parents and/or parents. Having all family members clearly understand the importance of this is critical.
Healthy Communication: All family members are spoken to with respect and courtesy. This has a significant impact on how the family interacts and treats each other.
Individual Choices: Parents explain to their children what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. The children understand that if they make a choice to do what they know is unacceptable then there is a consequence.
Clear Boundaries and Consequences: It is important that there are clear consequences when boundaries are broken. Parents need to be consistent with this.
Parents Parenting Together: Children need to see, and know, that their parents are united in guiding and directing them. This gives children a sense of inner security and confidence that they are being guided and taken care of as they go about their daily lives.
Expressing Feelings: Family therapy will help all family members to verbally express their feelings of anger, sadness, fear, disappointment, etc... instead of holding the feelings in or expressing them in an unhealthy way.
Creating A Safe Environment: All family members will know that it is ok and safe to communicate their thoughts and feelings without being judged or fear of any kind of negative reaction.
Family therapy can have many, many benefits for those who seek it. I encourage you to consider family therapy at either of our offices in Coral Springs or Fort Lauderdale, Florida if you are experiencing any type of issue or unhappiness in your family.
About David Schlagter, LCSW
I graduated from Syracuse University in 1995 with a Masters in Social Work and a concentration in Family Systems Theory. Years later, I had the rare experience of being selected to receive training and supervision from one of the original founders of Family Therapy, Dr. Salvador Manuchin.
During my time of professional practice, I have had the pleasure and privilege of helping countless families to create a truly healthy and loving family.
Please feel free to contact me at 954-391-5305 if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment for Family Counseling in Coral Springs or Parkland, Florida. For more information about my approach to counseling, click here.