Making the decision to enter family therapy is a great first step to resolving challenges affecting the relationships in your household. How your therapy sessions unfold will ultimately depend on the specifics of your situation, says Colleen Torrence, MED, LPC, a family therapist in Juneau, AK. However, by entering counseling with an idea of what to expect, you and your loved ones can feel more comfortable and prepared to embrace change.
Having helped groups address assorted issues such as trauma, addiction, and divorce, Torrence highlights some of the main components found in most family therapy work.
5 Ways Family Therapy Works to Help Resolve Issues
1. Initial Consultation and Introduction
By learning what encouraged you to seek counseling, your therapist can develop a strategy to create change. During this initial consultation, your family counselor may also ask about the dynamics of your household to learn how conflicts are resolved and what general rules are followed in the home. Your therapist will also take this time to review their qualifications and how they like to work.
2. Individual Meetings
By meeting with parents, children, or other family members separately, your therapist can see how each person conceptualizes the problem and what their experience is like.
3. Explore Family History
To fully understand the factors that led to the current point in time, the therapist may dive deep into the history of the family. For example, your counselor may try to establish a basic timeline of how your household has evolved over the years. They may also inquire about extended relatives, how parents grew up, and what the family’s mental health history is like.
4. Develop an Action Plan
Once the therapist can form a basis of the family and their individual circumstances, he or she will start to explore strategies to create change. Some strategies may involve short-term exercises that the counselor may facilitate during sessions. Other solutions may require more long-term actions, such as activities that family members can do together or behavioral practices that individuals can adopt.
5. Shape New Perspectives
One common element of family struggles is that every member may experience a problem or interpret relationships differently. As you work with your therapist, he or she will be able to detect these patterns and help everyone identify them to re-conceptualize a problem. For example, sessions may help parents focus on how a child experiences a specific issue, allowing them to develop a better understanding of how actions, words, and behaviors may create tension.
If you think you and your loved ones may benefit from group counseling, Colleen Torrence, MED, LPC, offers adaptable, resourceful, and results-driven family therapy in Juneau, AK. As a qualified family counselor, Torrence offers a wide variety of services that can help children and adults create a path for change. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call (907) 789-9212.