One of the greatest challenges for families is communication. It is easy to get frustrated with one another, especially when you have a large family or live in a busy household. But there are ways that you can improve communication and make things easier for yourself and your family members. Enrolling in a family therapy program can teach all family members the healthy communication skills needed to feel valued, loved, and respected.
At Imagine Seattle, we understand how important communication is for family well-being. We incorporate family therapy activities and games into our program, encouraging healthy communication and strengthening your bond. If your teen is going through a rough time, our activities for family therapy can help you heal together. Call us today at 425.295.2459 to enroll.
5 Family Therapy Techniques to Strengthen Communication
Communication is often overlooked as part of healthy relationships because many assume they already know how to communicate. Certain activities are especially beneficial for building good communication skills. When you meet with a family therapist, you and your family will participate in various activities and games chosen to address your particular issues.
Here are five family therapy techniques that help improve communication:
1. Active Listening
Active listening is a process that involves paraphrasing what another person has said. The goal is not necessarily to agree with everything they have said. Instead, it is about understanding their perspective so everyone feels heard and understood. This helps build trust between family members as well as improve overall communication.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a way to encourage good behavior, which can be helpful in many situations. It encourages people to repeat their good behaviors because they know it will earn them something they like, whether tangible or intangible. For example, if your teen completes homework after school without complaint, they may earn privileges. Young people can also learn how to provide positive reinforcement to their parents, such as showing appreciation when a parent takes the time to listen to them.
3. Non-Defensive Responses
When a family member talks, you do not have to agree with them. You can even disagree, but it is important not to interrupt or talk over them. This may be challenging at first, but making a conscious effort not to interrupt when a family member speaks allows them to feel heard. It also ensures that you take the time to listen to them while they are talking rather than just thinking about what you want to say next. Taking a deep breath before replying can also provide the space to respond with patience rather than reacting defensively.
4. Role Playing
Role play is one of the most commonly used activities for family therapy. It is a great way to practice and get comfortable with new communication skills. It helps you see how others might interpret what you say and how they respond, which can help you develop more effective communication patterns. Also, role-playing allows you to practice conflict resolution to react in the best possible way during difficult situations.
5. Mindful Body Language
Even if you listen to a family member without saying a word, you can come across as disrespectful. Your body language can say even more than your words. A few examples of negative body language include:
- Lack of eye contact
- Eye rolling
- Crossed arms
- Hands on hips
- Clenching fists
These gestures can indicate that you are not listening to the other person or are getting defensive rather than remaining open to their perspective. Family therapy can teach parents and teens how to be more mindful of their body language to avoid sending negative signals to one another.
Imagine Seattle: Family Therapy Activities and Games to Help You Heal Together
Learning how to communicate better with your partner and children can be enjoyable when you enroll in a family therapy program. Imagine Seattle offers family therapy activities and games to address communication and other concerns that impact family relationships. Contact us today at 425.295.2459 to enroll in our family therapy program.