Family therapy’s goal is to help the couple (or the family) to solve problems or find solutions so your family may function more harmoniously and with less conflict. Family therapy typically involves learning how to deal with relationship problems within the family.
Who is Family Counseling For?
Family counseling may include all family members, or just those that are needing to solve a dispute or soften feelings of hurt or anger. It may include improving the communication between two or several family members, resolving conflicts, negotiating or compromising. It may involve the cessation of malice or the need to assume good will.
Sometimes family therapy is between siblings. Sometimes family counseling is between parents or spouses. Sometimes it is between a parent and a child (or a teen—or an adult child), and sometimes it involves extended family members. Sometimes family counseling services are needed because one family member has substance abuse issues (or is self-medicating), or because one family member is acting erratic, threatening or abusive to others.
Family therapy can also be helpful to ward off foreseeable problems, such as when two parents who have children from previous relationships decide to marry and combine their two families.
What Will We Do in a Family Therapy Appointment?
Family counseling sessions are hand-molded to the issues, problems, conflicts or goals in your family. The subjects we might cover include:
- Anger/angry outbursts
- Inability to communicate
- Inability to resolve conflicts or disagreements
- Substance use or overuse
- Relationship repair
- Rebuilding trust
- Having fun together or enjoying each other’s company
- Boundary setting
- Anger resolution
- Adapting to changes
- Trauma recovery
- Power struggles
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Family estrangements
- Talking through our problems, issues or conflicts
This is not meant as a complete list of what family counseling consists of. It is simply attempting to give you an idea of what family therapy offers.
Is Family Therapy Confidential?
Completely. Like all my therapy sessions, everything we talk about is confidential. Colorado state law, however, requires that all family therapists report when there is physical or sexual abuse, or when someone’s life is in danger. But otherwise, everything you talk about in family counseling is completely confidential.
What Do We Do if One or More Family Members Refuse to Come to Family Counseling?
We will guide the family members who do come about what their choices and options are. Sometimes we can craft an effective solution about a problem by getting all other family members in alignment about how to respond. Family therapy does not offer canned solutions, but it will attempt to recommend the most effective and realistic options available to you.
How Do I Choose a Family Therapist?
First, choose a licensed marriage and family therapist. Licensed marriage and family therapists have either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree, and they are trained to evaluate and treat relationship issues between family members—or between individuals within a family system. They are the experts in family counseling and family counseling services. If you want marriage and family therapy, you want a marriage and family therapist.
Neil Rosenthal treats marriage and family problems, and was among the first therapists in the State of Colorado to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. His wife, Roni Atlas Rosenthal, is a child, teen and young adult specialist. She works in the same office suite in Westminster that Neil does.Schedule a family counseling appointment today