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Family Therapy

It's a mater of curiosity that why family therapy is needed? What should family members of a psychiatric patients do? What kind of role they should play to help the patient's improvement? Well, family therapy is based on an idea that many problems not only arise from family behavior patterns but also are affected by them. Some core issues like decision making, conflict resolution, rigidity, biasness, communication failure, ill parenting, chaotic family organization etc. to be addressed through family therapy.

Instead of treating family members individually, the therapist encourages the family to work as a group, dealing together with their attitudes & feelings towards one another and their resistance to cooperation & sharing. Family therapy often provides a valuable forum for airing hostilities, reviewing emotional ties, & dealing with crisis. It's important for the therapists to be fair & impartial in discussing disagreements between family members and to bear in the mind that families usually are characterized by a hierarchy in which parents are expected to assume some authority & responsibility for behavior of their kids.

The degree of hierarchy will vary, depending on parent's philosophy of child rearing & the ages of kids. For adolescents & young adults, one important problem may be their growing independence requires modification of hierarchial structure. 2 Frequent characteristics of family therapy are a) it's time-limited & b) at least at the beginning, it's concerned primarily with a particular problem being faced by family. Success of family therapy depends on therapist's flexibility & ability to improvise useful therapeutic strategies.

If any single idea could be said to guide family therapy, it's probably the notion of a family system. Human life can be organized hierarchically into systems of varying size & complexity. The Family System Approach sees the family as a self maintaining system which, like the human body, has feedback mechanism that preserves its identity & integrity by restoring homeostasis, the internal status quo, after a disturbance. A change in one part of the family system thus is often compensated for elsewhere. Family system therapy appears to be particularly effective when a child has problems related to acting out like stealing, abusing drugs or some type of eating disorder.

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