Family therapy is the process of working with multiple members of a family to impact the family as a whole and everyone in it. It addresses an issue from all sides, with no one’s experience being less important than anyone else’s. Family therapy is about learning to express our emotions, not simply blaming one another. In family counseling, a therapist will allow everyone to express their feelings. Perhaps more importantly, a family therapist will give everyone in the counseling room the opportunity to listen to the feelings of others. Everyone wants to feel heard. Everyone wants to feel like their feelings matter. If someone does not feel heard or their feelings don’t matter to anyone else, they will likely not listen.
My role as a San Diego family therapist is to facilitate a healthy and productive dialogue where everyone can listen to one another. That way, everyone feels valued and understands everyone else’s perspective. Sometimes we are surprised by someone else’s perspective. Sometimes, it can even alter our perspective and lead to new potential resolutions to issues we hadn’t thought of before. It can also help us to understand some of the possible reasons behind someone else’s behaviors, even if we disagree with the behaviors themselves.
You Can Gain Valuable Skills In Family Therapy
In family therapy, you will learn to improve your communication so that when issues arise, you will have the skills to navigate through those issues with minimal conflict. When an argument arises, things can escalate quickly. For example, a discussion about a specific event or topic can turn into an argument about everything that has happened in a relationship.
Through family counseling, you can learn skills to:
- avoid this type of escalation
- keep conversations related to the issue at hand
- avoid unnecessary conflict.
- Stay calm in the face of conflict
- Remain in control of your emotions rather than allow your emotions to control you
When we can speak calmly about what is bothering us, someone else is more likely to listen, which makes them far less likely to become defensive and dismiss our concerns as invalid. In addition, if someone is listening to another’s concerns, they are far less likely to repeat a given behavior in the future.
Everyone Wants to Be Heard and Understood, Family Therapy Can Accomplish This
Children want to be heard, just like adults. Family therapy will help you learn about your child’s feelings directly from them, rather than trying to speculate. After all, we are not “mind readers.” However well we think we know someone, no one knows them better than themselves. By actively listening to your child’s perspective and genuinely hearing them, you will prove to your child that you care about their thoughts and feelings. Demonstrating that you understand your child goes a long way in fostering a healthy and secure attachment. When your child feels heard, they will be more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with you in the future. They will open up to you more, and you will gain more opportunities to support and connect with them.
Each Person Will Have A Different Experience
As a parent reading this blog, it is clear that you care about your child and their well-being and happiness. Family counseling can teach you the skills to support your child in a healthy way, so it is clear to them how much you care.
A Child’s Experience in Family Therapy
Through my work with children at Family Connections Therapy, I have been amazed at how thoughtful and insightful they can be when given a chance to express themselves. At first, opening up in a session is difficult for children. That is why it is essential to establish rapport with the child at the beginning of the therapeutic process to create a safe and comfortable environment for them to open up. Rapport is generally established through play and discussing the child’s likes and interests.
Why is it so Important That Children Feel Comfortable?
Children love to talk about things they are interested in, which can help establish a genuine connection with them. The more comfortable they feel with their therapist, the more likely they will be able to express their true thoughts and feelings in the therapy room. One might be surprised how great children are at expressing their perspectives when given the opportunity.
In family therapy, the therapist sets up a safe and comfortable place to help the child open up. Having that safe person in the room with them can go a long way in helping them to express themselves to a person. When initially they may not be comfortable expressing their feelings. For example, it can be hard to talk to your parents for several reasons. Through counseling, you can prove to your child that you are also a safe adult and want to hear them and help them. This doesn’t just work with younger children. Family counseling can also help you build a stronger connection with your teenager.
The Parent’s Experience in Family Therapy
Through my work with parents as a marriage and family therapist, I have noticed that it can be difficult for many parents to hear and accept their child’s emotions and, potentially, their feelings towards them. Parents can have several reactions to this. Parents can become defensive, not wanting to accept the possibility that they could have done anything differently. Another typical response is a parent experiencing overwhelming feelings of guilt. It is important to remember that family counseling is not about blaming one another. Instead, it is about learning and growing together to accomplish our shared goal of improving our relationships. Moving through this process with an open mind goes a long way in fostering healthy relationships where everyone feels valued and can learn from one another.
Final Thoughts From A San Diego Family Therapist
Family counseling is not easy. Change is not easy. Accepting another’s perspective, especially with whom you had a conflict, is not easy. However, all of these things are worthwhile. However complex family counseling may be, it can help you and your child develop a stronger bond. As well as reduce harmful conflicts in your relationship with them.
Are You Ready to Start Family Therapy in San Diego?
If you and your child are struggling with communication, roles, or boundaries Family Connections Therapy can help. With the guidance of our Marriage and Family Therapists, you can strengthen the bond between you all. Follow these steps to start family counseling.
- Reach out to speak with a San Diego Family Therapist
- Start family therapy at Family Connections Therapy
- Build a stronger and healthier relationship with your loved ones
Other Mental Health Services At Family Connections Therapy in San Diego, CA
We offer lots of counseling services in order to support everyone. Our children’s therapy also includes therapy for ADHD, attachment and healthy development, and play therapy. As well as LGBTQIA+ and transgender therapy for kids and teens. Our Marriage and Family Therapists also offer couples therapy and marriage counseling. For adults, we offer individual therapy, depression treatment, anxiety treatment, and more! To further support parents we offer reunification therapy and high conflict parenting classes. All of these services are also offered in person at our San Diego office or anywhere in California through online therapy.