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5 Proven Benefits of Family Therapy

Most of us understand the many ways that therapy can benefit our mental health. With over 20.3% of adults in the U.S. receiving some type of mental health treatment, it’s clear that “doing it alone” is not attainable. Talking to an unbiased individual about our problems fulfills our basic human needs for companionship, support, and intimacy.

If therapy is so beneficial, it’s a wonder why more of us don’t partake in it. Fears always get in the way of improving our mental health. While much of trauma stems from childhood issues, we feel uncomfortable revisiting those issues amongst other family members. Talking one on one can be intimidating enough but speaking with many of the people who have caused us pain can feel traumatic. However, family therapy is a critical way to improve core relationships, enforce boundaries, and overcome individual struggles. Here are some of the top benefits of family therapy.

1. Overcome Pain from the Past

Even though most of our parents did the best they could with what they had, it doesn’t negate the feelings we may have about them. How we feel about our past actions and the past actions of others affects our present mental health, which impacts the choices we make in the future. Discussing these feelings in a calm, rational and straight forward way with a professional who can help navigate the conversation will help heal much of the hurt we feel from our past. This will help each family member make healthier choices moving forward.

2. Break Negative Patterns

In dysfunctional families, every member knows one another so intimately that he or she has learned how to argue, manipulate, or coerce to get what they need. The family may have the same arguments repeatedly or use unhealthy communication tactics to control others. An unbiased professional will help expose these false patterns and provide new methods to cope in the future. Because sunlight is the best disinfectant, the patterns will no longer be able to occur automatically as they did in the past. Every member will see them for what they are when they occur, and use the newly provided tools to change the course of the conversation or argument.

3. Adjust Parental Roles

Many of our familial issues arise from a parent who continues to treat an adult child like a child. Leaving a caretaker role can make a parent feel a lost sense of identity or believe that they no longer matter. At the same time, over-parenting an adult child can make that adult child feel smothered and resentful. Family therapy will help all members settle into their new roles and respond more appropriately moving forward.

4. Cope with Change

Life is about change. Some families struggle to adapt with change more than others. A new marriage, baby, addiction, or loss of a child can put an already dysfunctional family into turmoil. Poor communication tactics can provoke fights, secrecy, or shame regarding the changing person or circumstance. Family therapy will help each member respond more effectively to the change and communicate openly about any accompanying feelings.

5. Create Stronger Connections

Every individual wants to be able to use their family as a haven when things go wrong. Unfortunately for many of us, families are the least safe place to run to in times of need. While friends and mentors are great, they can’t always provide the support that a healthy family can. Family therapy can help improve familial connections and ensure members know where to turn when something comes up. It can also help the family find new ways to enjoy time spent together and start having fun again.

Do you struggle with childhood trauma, or live in a dysfunctional home? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.

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