Family Therapy

Los Angeles Family Therapy

The personal relationships of individuals thrown together by birth or marriage involve multiple opportunities for conflict. They are charged with high emotions and can wind together many complicated factors. With the assumption that everything should just work out because you are family hanging over your heads, you may be too close to the problem to understand how to unravel and overcome it together.

Family therapy in Los Angeles promotes understanding and peaceful ways to communicate and resolve problems while maintaining the family unit. This process seeks to find solutions that focus on the entire group and not the individuals in it.

Family Therapy Guiding Values and Ideas

Quality therapists, psychologists, or counselors follow not only all laws and regulations but also a set of principles and values when they approach any professional situation. These enforce the ideas that this type of help is for the entire family and not just because of one person.

  1. Family units have structures, communication patterns, and outside influences all their own. The entire collection of surrounding circumstances must be taken into account to have a positive outcome. These can include older generational beliefs, the early upbringing of parents or children, illness or disorder, addiction, and accepted ideals and roles within the group.
  2. Problems are not the responsibility or fault of one scapegoat individual. Although, for example, an addict in the family may seem like the source of all conflict, mental health professionals following the principles of familial practice will approach every person’s role in the interpersonal issues.
  3. Although blame cannot be laid at the feet of one person, therapists understand how one person’s change can affect all others both close to them and on the edges of the unit. Individual changes can be a symptom, result, or cause of other familial upheavals.

Why You Should Consider Making an Appointment Together

Many people first come to seek help due to an individual who is perceived as causing trouble to the unit as a whole. This could be due to mental illness, addiction, or other sources of conflict. Some believe that if a professional “cures” or otherwise helps that one person, all problems will go away and they can go back to being a loving unit.

In truth, the complex play of emotions, intent, and reactions in a family with problems mean the entire unit needs help.
Family therapy in Los Angeles can help you manage serious challenges like:

  • Addiction, drug or alcohol abuse, and related issues
  • Mental illness or disorder within the family
  • Physical illness or disability requiring ongoing care
  • Grief over a death in or close to the family

Interpersonal relationships benefit from outside help:

  • Marriage troubles, separation, and divorce
  • Spousal cheating or other infidelities
  • Child custody arrangements and shared parenting
  • Serious or ongoing problems between brothers, sisters, or extended family

Help from a therapist also makes sense to proactively handle issues:

  • Before blending two families with children together
  • In response to financial stress and disagreements
  • Parenting problems with behavior, discipline, or ideologies

Address all these problems and more at a therapy appointment in order to learn new ways to handle disagreements or conflicts. Whenever there is undue stress, an outside helper can bring clarity to the process of solving problems or coping with those that have no solution.

Know What to Expect When You See a Therapist

While every mental health professional differs slightly from another, there are some common variables that fit with most appointments. The first step in any new therapeutic relationship is discovery.

This means that they will ask questions and invite you to talk about what the problem is from your point of view and how it affects the family unit and the individuals in it. Expect to share personal information not only about the problem itself but also about your opinions, thoughts, and feelings about it. No matter what the issues are – addiction, mental health, divorce, child behavior – everyone plays a role in the process.

After listening to everyone’s side of the story and how they view the conflicts, a therapist will begin to formulate a plan for moving forward in a more positive direction. This is not about placing blame or putting the focus on one person. Instead, each member will receive important help to work together as a unit peacefully and with less stress.

Some of the methods used to determine the best course forward include:

  • Identifying individual strengths to use them to help the family
  • Explore communication difficulties and teach new ways of speaking and listening
  • Help to understand the root of conflicts so people can work together

The number of appointments each family needs depends on quite a few factors. First, the nature of the problem sometimes affects this. Some issues are temporary like a financial burden, divorce proceedings, or a difficult school year for a child. Others are chronic problems that seem to have no real solution such as caring for a disabled family member, addiction in some cases, and managing a blended family. Other factors include the source of the problem, if there are multiple problems, and how open each person is to the idea of therapy and solving issues. Noncompliance or refusal of one person to help facilitate change may cause delays. The therapist may suggest individual counseling sessions as well.

Will Family Therapy Solve All Problems?

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to make family struggles disappear. Therapy is not magic and it does not pinpoint one person as a source of all conflict so the others are “off the hook.” Solving any problem, opening lines of communication, reducing strain in relationships, and learning a new way to forge ahead to a more positive future all take time and effort. With the right tools from a family group therapist that cares, all of these things are possible even in situations that may have seemed destined to remain negative forever. You can improve every circumstance if the individuals are committed to working on the whole together.