How Family and Marriage Therapy Can Benefit the Entire Family
When there are problems with a marriage, you seek marriage therapy. This stands to reason that when there are problems with your family you should seek family therapy.
In the late 1960s, Dr. Murray Bowen was one of the first pioneers of Family Systems Therapy. He believed families functioned best as a unit. He stressed that they were intensely connected on an emotional level and highlighted the importance of solving problems together.
The same is true for modern families. They should be a smooth-flowing unit that works together. They should get along and support one another and celebrate together. Whether you and your spouse are going through a divorce or there is some other strain on your household, family therapy might be the answer.
Issues to Discuss in Family Therapy
When you go to family or marriage therapy you will be assigned a counselor, therapist, or a psychologist. There are many issues that plague the modern family these days. Some of the most common reasons people attend family counseling are:
- A family member struggling with addiction
- Marital discord or divorce
- Abusive behavior within the family
- Chronic illness
- Eating disorders
- Financial hardships that put a strain on the unit
- The death of a loved one
- Poor communication or friction between family members
Here are 6 ways marriage therapy and talking openly as a family can help benefit your home-life.
1. It improves communication skills
Communication in marriage therapy is key for resolving issues and the same is true for family therapy.
Some families find it very difficult to be open and honest with one another about issues in their lives. They may fear embarrassment, judgement, or simply want to keep their life private. Regardless of their reason, this lack of communication can stifle relationships and create distance between family members.
A skilled counselor will be able to break the ice and help families learn to communicate with one another.
By attending family therapy together, a counselor will be able to help each member understand what their role is in the family. They will be helped to understand that a family is like a body. When one limb suffers, the others suffer with it.
2. It can save your family from falling apart during a divorce
Divorce can have a devastating effect on children and exes alike. Jealousy, hurt feelings, broken trust, and daily arguments can be hard on everyone. Many children often blame themselves for their parents separating.
The struggle of finding a new family balance, guilt over what went wrong, and learning how to forgive one another can take an immense toll on daily life.
Seeing a family or marriage counselor during this time can help save your family. Your counselor will be able to help everyone communicate their feelings on the divorce in a way that is constructive and helpful. Your therapist will also be able to clear up any conflict and misunderstandings.
While marriage counseling may not save your romantic relationship, it can certainly put building your new family unit into its proper perspective.
3. It can help you deal with death
You’d be hard-pressed to find an issue that affects a family more than the loss of a loved one. This devastating event can trigger depression, PTSD, and anxiety.
A counselor will be able to help the family with grief counseling. It can also be cathartic for families to share their similar thoughts and feelings, as well as memories of their lost loved one in a controlled environment.
4. It can boost your child’s confidence
A counselor will help your family grow and boost self-esteem.
It can be tough on children when there is constant conflict in the family unit. This can deteriorate childhood self-esteem. When children lack confidence at a young age, they are more susceptible to peer pressure, have low self-worth, doubt their abilities, and be overly critical of themselves.
By attending therapy together and separately, your counselor will help each member of the family build self-esteem by encouraging them to go after their goals and to set a life-plan into action.
A family counselor will also be able to help parents, children, and siblings to understand each other better, which will boost self-esteem and motivation to deepen the family bond.
5. It improves the family’s mental health
In order for a family unit to feel peaceful and happy, all members must have good mental and emotional health. This is hard to maintain where there’s unrest between siblings or parents.
By attending family therapy, members of the unit will improve their mental health. This often done by working through issues with a counselor. While there you will be able to discuss an action plan for happier living, repair and enhance family relationships, and have an increased sense of contentment and joy in daily life.
Even if attending family therapy alone, it is still beneficial to get your emotional stresses off your chest and to have the listening ear of your counselor.
6. It increases marital happiness
Parents play a large role in how their children grow up, perceive things, and treat others. When married partners don’t get along it can have a devastating effect on their children.
One study on the impact of the family structure on children found that children fare better when parents put effort into maintaining their happy marriage.
The effects of divorce on children are vast. Children will lose time with each parent and have lower economic and emotional security. Studies also suggest that children may even change their outlook on their sexual behavior and have decreased psychological and social maturation after their parents’ divorce.
Set a good example for your children by attending marriage therapy and working on boosting your relationship satisfaction. Doing so may spread good vibes throughout your whole family unity.
Family therapy and marriage therapy can make a positive impact on the way your family gets along. It can also improve self-esteem, mental health, and get to the heart of any issues your family is going through. By learning to communicate as a unit, you will strengthen your family bond.