Family Therapy vs. Individual Therapy: Which One Is Better?
Family relationships are one of the strongest units, with each bond holding a special place in life. However, once in a while, these relationships can experience problems and require some guidance to make the bond healthy.
This is when family therapy comes into the scene where professionals help you achieve a peaceful home life. These counselors or therapists set family therapy goals to solve long-standing hurdles in the family or that of an individual.
How is family therapy different from individual therapy?
While individual therapies concentrate on a person’s personal struggles, the purpose of family therapy is to look outside an individual and have a holistic approach during treatment of a problem.
To discuss this further, here are 5 benefits of family therapy to help you understand the role of this strength-based treatment.
1. Need or Problem
Are the problems in your life centered around social interactions?
Is having a strong support system vital to having a happy life?
Is there a history or pattern of maladaptive behaviors that run in your family?
If you answered yes to any of these, you would directly benefit from counseling that is done with a systematic perspective or marriage and family therapy specialist rather than only focusing on you as an individual.
2. Long Term Recovery and Support
Treating an issue or problem such as substance abuse or anger management as a systematic issue (involving multiple family members and support networks) rather than just the individual results in greater long-term recovery chances.
Sometimes, treating the individual just is not enough if the home dynamic remains the same toxic environment, and the support network is not involved in treatment.
3. Communication Skills
At times couples and families are not lacking in love, consideration, or empathy and at times there may not be mental health issues or substance abuse issues causing discord but rather an inability to communicate effectively.
In individual and family counseling, participants will learn skills to de-escalate angry outbursts, boundaries, respect, and how to understand their own needs and communicate them well with one another.
Due to emotional barriers and environmental stressors, we forget to communicate in a healthy way. For example, if two people are emotionally heated they may yell, raise their voice, use disrespectful or abusive language rather than argue to solve a problem or reach a goal.
Couples and families will learn to stay goal-oriented when having an argument, know when to take a time out and cool off, and speak assertively rather than passively or aggressively.
4. Unbiased Perspective
Family and marital quarrels can go on for what seems like an eternity; the same arguments keep going on and on, and no one is ever able to come up with a reasonable solution or compromise.
Before you know it, the family or couple will isolate, disconnect, and turn away from each other when their support is needed the most.
Having a family/marriage specialist serve as an unbiased perspective allows all individuals to be heard and have their feelings validated, and sometimes this is the main core issue. We just want our feelings to matter first.
5. Healthy boundaries
Boundaries are the ways to set a way of how people should treat you. In family, setting such boundaries is essential so that your worth is realized too. In family therapy, you are taught to understand your value, inculcate self-esteem, learn assertion.
The video below discusses the essential boundaries needed in every relationship. It starts with advice that saying NO is a complete sentence. Learn more such boundaries below:
Family therapy helps in less anger and resentment and provides a feeling of peace and safety.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
All services now online due to COVID-19 Safety Precautions
The decision to begin therapy does not make you weak minded or a weak person; it does not mean you have failed, it means you're ready to get better! Everyone has different reasons for attending therapy: anxiety, trauma, family, relationship issues, intimacy issues, gender dysphoria.... No matter what made you take this step know that you are in a safe space where your rights and beliefs are fully validated. As a client focused therapist I will not give you advise but rather help you find your own solutions to the barriers lying in your way that's keeping you from living your best life.
When working with individuals, couples, and families I employ science based approaches but also encourage holistic self-care. I encourage my clients to advocate for their spiritual, social, medical, and artistic needs. I allow my clients the right to choose which treatment method they prefer as only my clients know what will help them the most.
There is nothing weak about processing trauma, learning to control anxiety, getting help for your marriage... There is nothing wrong with you because you identify in the LGBTQ+ spectrum... There is no shame for just wanting to be/feel better... It doesn't matter if you are in a traditional or non-traditional relationship as long as it's healthy.
(Jessica Hope is also listed in Best Marriage Therapists in Edinburg)