There can be times when it’s desirable that more than one person receive the benefit of therapy. Family therapy involves a group of people, often living under the same roof, who care about improving a situation at home or in the group. Therapy can include a range of different aged individuals from older children to adults, as long as everyone can be involved helpfully. Family therapy usually focuses on relationships and how they are affected by the behaviors of those in the family system. It facilitates talking about the problem and increasing awareness of how it affects everyone, besides targeting the problem and helping to create change.
A sign that family therapy is indicated is feeling disrupted and frustrated in the family. Seeing that your family is not working well together—not communicating, yelling, feeling more angry or upset than connected—just not feeling like a family.
Often there is an identified member who is singled out as the “troublemaker.” Believe it or not, this person is frequently the key person who is holding the family together. It’s important to recognize everyone’s function and contribution to the problem—and to the solution. Family problems that go on for long enough can affect the mental health of the individuals. It can be depressing and draining to come home to which is why members tend to avoid home or hide behind closed doors.