A family therapist does not criticize, blame, or take sides during family therapy. The therapist helps the family become more aware of subtle dynamics that may be the source of persistent tensions and power struggles.
Of particular importance is learning how such patterns were put in place and examining what hidden “rewards” accompany certain problematic behaviors. The adolescent who drinks or uses drugs to get his or her parents’ attention, the father who works excessively long hours to avoid tension at home—these are but two common examples of conflicted individual behavior motivated by deeper disharmony within the family unit.
When working either with individuals or entire families during counseling, the therapist brings a less biased third party perception to the situation. Issues which may seem impossibly complicated within the closed system of a family may “open up” when working with a trained family therapist.
Individuals who have unknowingly inherited certain undesirable traits from parents and other early figures may find that a therapist offers a more detached, helpful viewpoint when discussing the issue. This allows the client to bring more awareness to his or her relationships and circumstances, and to make more informed life choices when challenging issues rise to the surface.
If family issues are destroying the harmony in your home, it may be time to consider family therapy.