Family Therapy

Family therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on the improvement of relationships among family members. It can also help treat specific mental health or behavioral conditions, such as substance use disorder or oppositional defiant disorder. Family therapy can involve any combination of family members.

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is a form of group psychotherapy (talk therapy) that focuses on the improvement of interfamilial relationships and behaviors.

A family unit is a group of people who care about each other. In family therapy, a group can consist of many different combinations of loved ones, such as parents/guardians and their children, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, kinship caregivers, etc.

Therapy can help with situations such as:

  • Adjusting to a new life change (like moving) or a medical condition.
  • Changes and challenges that come with aging
  • Death and grief
  • Relationship conflicts, such as parent-child conflict or sibling conflict.

What are the types of family therapy?

Mental health professionals use several forms of family therapy, and many professionals specialize in certain types. The choice of therapy type depends on your family’s particular needs and circumstances. Therapists may combine elements from different therapeutic approaches to best meet your needs.

Some forms of family therapy include:

Functional family therapy (FFT): Therapists most often use this type to help families with children who have behavioral issues. FFT assesses the family dynamics that have contributed to a child’s problematic behavior, improves family communication and parenting skills, and supports positive reinforcement.

Marriage counseling/couples therapy: This therapy involves you and your spouse or romantic partner. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) are specifically trained to help couples determine their problems and work on solutions. Issues may be related to communication, raising children, finances, understanding your or your partner’s mental health condition, and more.

Strategic family therapy: This is short-term family therapy that focuses on making positive structural and behavioral changes in the family environment. It’s based on the foundation that the family plays the most important role in the life and development of children. Therapists may use this therapy form for families with children who have behavioral issues.

Structural family therapy: This type of therapy looks at the inner relationships, boundaries, and hierarchies within a family unit (its structure). It focuses on direct interactions among your family members as the primary way to bring about positive change. The main foundation of structural family therapy is that, when guided by a therapist, families will discover their own alternatives to their problematic patterns of relating to one another.

Systemic family therapy: The foundation of systemic family therapy is considering the family’s issues in the different contexts in which they live. For example, the therapist will consider how one family member functions as a partner in a romantic relationship, as a parent, and as a child to their parents. Context also includes cultural, religious, and political views, as well as socio-economic status. This approach regards context as having the most significance for your psychological development and emotional well-being.

What issues can family therapy help fix?

Families attend therapy for several different reasons. Problems that family therapy can help fix include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Strained relationships between family members
  • Stress
  • Anger
  • Communication issues.
  • Trauma (physical or emotional)
  • Coping with an acute or chronic illness of a family member, such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, stroke, chronic pain, or an autoimmune disease
  • The death of a loved one and grief
  • Divorce or romantic relationship issues
  • Coping with sudden changes, such as unemployment, moving, or incarceration

Family therapy can be beneficial if a family member has any of the following mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia.
  • Mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder and depression
  • Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder,
  • substance use disorder.

It can also help with childhood behavioral conditions, such as:

  • Conduct disorder.
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD).
  • Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

How does family therapy work?

Family therapy is an evidence-based treatment that’s grounded in theory and skill-based dialogue (conversations). It provides a supportive, nonjudgmental and safe environment that allows your family to talk openly with a mental health professional. This professional is objective and specially trained to help your family with the issues you’re having.

With the guidance of a mental health professional, you work on improving the interactions and communication among your family members. You work to incorporate healthy behaviors to improve your family’s functioning and well-being. Family therapy can also help you understand and help treat a family member’s mental health or behavioral condition.

What are the benefits of family therapy?

Several research studies have shown the effectiveness of family therapy in treating a variety of mental and emotional conditions and health issues, like adolescent substance use, depression and obesity. Studies also show significant improvements in family member relationships and conflict.

These improvements can also lead to better functioning at work or school.

After participating in family therapy treatment:

  • Almost 90% of people report an improvement in their emotional health.
  • Nearly 66% report an improvement in their overall physical health.
  • In child-parent cases, about 73% of parents report that their child’s behavior improved.

Palm Beach Counseling and Behavioral Health (PBCB) is dedicated to finding the right counselling service to suit every family’s needs.

Each family is different, and our team at West Palm Beach delivers nothing short of family therapy programs that rebuild and improve bonds between family members.


Family Systems Therapy

Family Systems Therapy

This form of therapy is an approach that assists in locating and expanding on the strength of relationships to combat mental health issues within a family unit.

structural family therapy

Supportive Family Therapy

With this method, our therapist will create a safe environment for families to share their specific thoughts and feelings and encourage other members to provide support during sessions.

Narrative Family Therapy

Narrative Family Therapy

This builds a narrative through family stories, helping to understand how each experience relates to individuals and affects others in the group.

Functional Family Therapy

Functional Family Therapy

A short-term treatment that is geared towards younger family members experiencing behavioral problems. This builds respect between younger members and their parents, combatting issues like substance abuse.


A counselling service aimed to understand mental health conditions that educated families about medication, treatment options, and self-help.

family Structural Techniques therapy

Structural Techniques

Here a therapist will discuss the importance of boundaries and power dynamics in a family, establishing routines that can help improve functionality.

Our family therapy counselling services promise to help families work as a unit to address communication issues and resolve conflict, thus building a stronger and more connected familial structure.

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