Relationships are inherent parts of one’s life whether it is physical or interpersonal. Relationships play vital roles to influence various actions and thoughts. Marriage and family therapy believes that relationships are excellent means to understand the psychological state of an individual.
Overview of Marriage and Family Therapy
Marriage and family therapy is a type of psychotherapy. It addresses the behaviors of each family member and the way, in which such behaviors affect individual family members. Simultaneously, the therapy handles relationships between various family members and the entire family unit.
Accordingly, the therapy divides the treatment or therapy program between the hours spent on individual therapy and the ones spend on family therapy and couple therapy. One can even call MFT couple counseling, family and couple therapy, marriage counseling, and family counseling.
Scope of MFT
MFT can treat many psychological and physical problems. These include-
- The couple and marital conflicts
- Children and parent conflicts
- Drug abuse and alcohol abuse
- Weight issues and eating disorders
- Distress and grief
- Problems in the behavior of children
- Dementia and other problems in eldercare
Along with that, many marriage and family therapy professionals work with psychiatrists and counselors to handle mental health problems. These include schizophrenia, anxiety, and depression, and similar others caused by a family member. Simultaneously, experts deal with the influence of such issues on other family members
Objectives and Mechanism of MFT
Involves Family Members
Traditional therapy focuses on a particular person. MFT examines the behavior of an individual and its effect on his/her relationship as a part of a family or couple. The family theory associated with MFT aims to involve other members of your family in the therapeutic process to find effective solutions.
MFT follows a goal-oriented approach and works to come up with positive results. In the last few years, MFT groups and practitioners have expanded their approaches to include real-world practices. Accordingly, experts have succeeded to integrate many other therapies and become inclusive of many non-heterosexual families and couples.
Number of Sessions and Expectations
Marriage and family therapy is a short-term therapy. It consists of about 12 sessions focused on drawing the right solutions. However, depending on the severity of the problems, you and your family members may need more sessions. If you approach the therapist for marriage or couple counseling, your therapist will start by meeting your partner and you both.
Simultaneously, the expert will discuss with each of the individuals. On the other hand, if you called a professional for family therapy, the therapist will start by scheduling a meeting with the complete family. Later, if everything goes in the right direction, the therapist will communicate with individual family members.
A Journey from Information Collection to Resolving Problems
Regardless of the type of counseling you undergo, your expert associated with marriage and family therapy collects information in the first session. This step helps the therapist to identify the underlying problem and get the involved thoughts of every family member or couple. The therapist even observes family or couple dynamics.
You get a clear sense of the competency and role of your therapist. Simultaneously, you know his/her treatment goals, and any other rules, which you have to observe during or outside of your session. These include the person to attend the right session, confidentiality of shared information among family members or partners, and the therapist.
As time goes on, you may identify specific family roles and separate behaviors, which contribute to any type of conflict and identify challenges. In other words, therapists will gradually explore ways to resolve your relationship issues actively.
Why MFT is Beneficial for Couples and Family Members
Improvement in Group Dynamics
Family dynamics or couple dynamics refer to interaction patterns that go on among group members. These patterns may become unhealthy with time. In this situation, MFT helps couples and family members to understand the existing communication patterns among them. In other words, therapists may help individuals to learn new and healthy ways to interact with one another.
Improvement in Communication
Many people often underestimate the significance of communication in their marital or family relationships. Particularly, this is valid when any relation involves many members. Misunderstandings take place easily among large groups.
Besides, many people do not express their feelings openly or any particular member becomes influenced by communication challenges among a large group. Marriage and family therapy gives valuable insights and tools to help couples/family members to communicate and understand one another efficiently.
Provides a Safe Space for Everyone
Couple or family therapy is important because it provides a safe space for every individual, including married couples. The therapist acts as a neutral third party without any specific loyalty. Accordingly, the expert will give a protective space where everyone can share his or her likings and feelings. This type of situation is difficult for a person in daily life.
One person may fear to hurt the feelings of other one or say anything that makes the matter worse. On the other side, safe spaces are game changers and the space is outside of anyone’s home. When you address your issues in a therapist’s office, you get a safe bubble of your partner’s feelings.
Appropriate Resolutions to Family Conflicts
A few conflicts among family members go on for many years. Family counseling may give a resolution to such problems. Here, the counselor assists members to check the existing dynamics and identify the root cause of long-term problems. Once the individuals view sources and patterns of such problems, they address them via education and counseling strategies.
Let You Learn Coping Mechanisms
Stress may take place even in stable relationships at certain times. Whenever traumatic events take place because of stressors, the issues become complicated further. Here comes the activity of learning the right coping mechanism. However, it is not intuitive to many people.
Instead, it grows to exacerbate when couples follow different approaches to handle the stress. When the strategies related to conflicts become worse, couples must approach family or couple therapy. The therapy introduces a few healthy coping mechanisms to benefit the parties.
Therefore, family therapy and marriage counseling help you in resolving your family relationship issues to help you lead a happy life in the future.