Family Therapy is not just for the big issues, like infidelity, divorce, emotional abuse, a sudden loss, alcoholism or substance abuse, etc. Family or Couple’s Therapy can address difficulty saying, “no” to your children or teens or setting other limits, boundaries, or communication stuck-points. It also helps with conflicts over the division of labor or budgeting and finance (when speaking to your accountant or financial advisor is not enough.)
Family Therapy helps to reset the family system to return to the equilibrium it once enjoyed. What is the difference between individual and Family or Couple’s Therapy? Family or Couple’s Therapy looks at the family system, whereas Individual Psychotherapy addresses the issues, conflicts or struggles within the individual. An individual’s struggle does reverberate through the family and sometimes both are necessary to thoroughly improve the problem. For example, a teen who is spending an inordinate amount of time playing video games may have a problem keeping up with his grades (individual therapy). But, if the parents or other family members are concerned because the teen doesn’t come down for family dinners anymore, then it becomes a system’s issue for family therapy. The gaming has moved out of the individual’s domain and into the family system’s domain. These are just a few of the ways family or couple’s therapy can be beneficial.
Family Therapy can be beneficial when young adults fail to “leave the nest” of their parents. They have not learned the necessary tasks required of adults, or they do not feel self-confident enough executing them. For example, pre-COVID was your college grad still living at home, not paying rent, squandering the salary earned, leaving a mess for you to clean up or expecting you to do all the laundry? Or, do you find yourself rescuing your college grad (or 30 something offspring) by filing their taxes, scheduling (or cancelling on short notice) their dentist appointments, or paying their fines? Families need to provide roots and wings for their offspring. “Adulting” is learning to test one’s wings even if it means falling and having to pick oneself up and try again, just like a baby learning to walk.