Family therapy is a collaborative approach that focuses on understanding the unique dynamics of the family unit. In this type of counseling, the child and the parent are equally involved in the conversation and discussion. Families can benefit from therapy with the right preparation and carefully chosen support. Knowing how to prepare for family therapy can help you feel more comfortable during the session.
Seeking help from a family therapist can build stronger relationships between children and their caregivers. With this perspective in mind, parents should consider consulting with Imagine Seattle’s adolescent family therapy program if they feel their relationship with their child needs extra support or guidance. Our counselors work closely with parents and children to create a personalized treatment plan that meets their needs. Call 425.295.2459 today to get started.
What Happens in Family Therapy?
In family therapy, adolescents and their families are given a safe space to explore their relationships with each other in a confidential and caring setting. The therapist helps the family members identify and address issues that may be causing stress within their family dynamics while offering support and guidance to navigate them through these challenges. During the session, the therapist will use family therapy techniques, including:
- Providing education on topics such as communication styles
- Offering instruction on how to resolve conflicts
- Showing ways to build stronger relationships
They can also discuss individual concerns contributing to tension within the family system. Finally, they will co-create a plan for moving forward that outlines specific goals and action steps for different family members. This may include activities for strengthening trust or practicing new behaviors to facilitate change in their interactions. Ultimately, the goal is for families to gain lasting insight into themselves, as individuals and as a unit, to have healthier relationships going forward.
How to Prepare for Family Therapy
We all want the best for our children, but sometimes it can feel like we can do nothing to help them. This is especially true regarding mental health; as parents, we can recognize when our children are struggling, but we may not know how to support them. That’s where family therapy comes in. Family therapy is a type of counseling that brings family members together to work through problems and improve communication. It can be incredibly effective for adolescents who need mental health care. But before you jump into family therapy, knowing how to prepare yourself and your family for the experience is essential. Here are some family therapy tips to help you get ready.
Research Your Options
Before choosing a family therapist or counseling center, do your research. Look for providers who specialize in working with adolescents and their families, and read reviews from other clients. You want to find a therapist you feel confident in and who can help your family achieve your goals.
Set Goals as a Family
What do you hope to achieve through family therapy? Do you want to improve communication, resolve conflicts, or work through a specific issue your adolescent is facing? Sit down as a family and discuss what you hope to get from therapy. This can help you choose a therapist who will best meet your needs and help everyone feel invested in the process.
Explain the Process to Your Adolescent
Therapy can be intimidating, especially for adolescents who may not understand what to expect. Take the time to explain the process to your child, emphasizing that therapy is a safe and supportive space to work through challenges. Encourage your adolescent to ask questions and express any concerns they may have.
Practice Active Listening
Family therapy is all about communication, which means active listening is key. Ensure you’re giving your family members your full attention when they’re speaking, and try to really hear what they’re saying rather than planning your response. Avoid interrupting and be patient with each other.
Be Open and Honest
Family therapy is a space to be honest and open, even acknowledging difficult emotions or experiences. Encourage your family members to be vulnerable and honest, and lead by example. Remember that therapy is a judgment-free zone, and your therapist is there to support you through challenges.
Seek Family Therapy at Imagine Seattle
Adolescent mental and behavioral health is incredibly important to any child’s development. At Imagine Seattle, we understand the unique needs of adolescents and their families as they navigate this challenging time. As a result, we offer our adolescent family therapy program to help parents establish healthy communication and support with their children.
Family counseling doesn’t have to be intimidating – if anything, it can be an empowering experience for everyone involved. At Imagine Seattle, we provide tailored services that help foster healthier relationships within the home environment while helping everyone become more aware of their mental health needs. We invite you to contact us today at 425.295.2459 and speak with one of our experienced counselors about how our services can benefit your family.