When someone in your family is experiencing disappointment or hurt, the entire family will be influenced by this person’s mood and behavior. Children who experience academic difficulties, bullying, or peer difficulties at school will return home and share their frustrations by engaging in conflict with their siblings, by opposing guidance from their parents, or by isolating in their room. Regardless of the manner in which the child copes with stress in their life, parents and siblings will notice that the child is not feeling well and wonder what is going on with them. Family therapy provides an opportunity for children to communicate the experiences that are overwhelming to them while enabling parents and siblings to participate in understanding how the child’s emotions and behavior impact them as a group. When families work together as a group, they can powerfully unite to create a system at home that is supportive of each person and that allows the family to restore from the difficulties of the day.
There are other moments in life when the entire family experiences sadness, grief, trauma, or loss at the same time. When a family confronts a painful life event together, the emotional intensity of these moments can be overwhelming for everyone. Family therapy can assist families in working together to stay united as a group as they process difficult life situations like death, divorce, ongoing medical difficulties, moving, and unexpected changes in employment & finances. A family therapist can assist each member in the family of having a voice to communicate their individual concerns while developing a plan that coordinates family functioning in an organized and predictable manner. Sometimes, family therapy involves assisting blended families in processing the rewards and challenges of uniting children from previous relationships. While the parents of children in blended families have previous experiences of operating as a family, they can experience significant surprises and disappointment as their newly developing partner relationship is challenged by previous partners and children who are emotionally overwhelmed with the many changes. Family therapy can provide space and time for parents to safely explore the challenges directed at their relationship. During other family therapy sessions, children can be included in the session to provide a structured and predictable way to develop household guidelines and rules that enable the newly created family to function more effectively