The goals for family therapy is to strengthen the family as an open system which builds with new energy and ideas; to increase the separation and individuation of family members, strengthen marital and parental sub-systems; educate about family systems, life cycle events, rules, roles expectation and values.
We work to reduce family and/or individual pain, promote straight or congruent communications, build self-esteem and promote a sense of self-worth and to transform dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving into functional patterns.
When a family is the client, a multitude of individual issues are always present and potential therapy focuses.
It is often the case that improvement in any individual within the family system will improve the functioning of the whole system, thus benefiting each family member.
Some of the family dysfunctions include; poor communication skills, feelings expressed inappropriately, boundary problems, parenting problems, unrealistic expectations, low self-esteem, depression, triangling and dysfunctional reciprocal relationships.
Examples of dysfunctional reciprocal relationships include:
- Over-Adequate/Inadequate—one does everything right and can cope, while the other does everything wrong and can’t cope;
- Decisive/Indecisive—one makes all the decisions, while the other feels incapable of making any of the decisions;
- Dominate/Submissive—one leads, the other follows.
Some interventions we use include; unconditional positive regard for the family, teaching “I” messages and active or reflective listening, educating about dysfunctional patterns and beliefs, normalizing, de-triangling, clarifying goals and expectations and practicing new learning in sessions.