What Is Family Therapy?
Caring for a family member with serious mental illness can be draining and consuming. Often, in the search for answers, solutions, and care, the wellbeing of other family members becomes inadvertently secondary. However, the impact of attention focused on a sibling, the strain on parents, and even the impact of family dynamics on the patient all play a role in the loved one’s mental health and treatment.
Unless these issues are addressed, there is the danger the patient will return to a home environment that may trigger harmful habits, behaviors, and/or addictions. Pasadena Villa advocates and requires individual family therapy. Many of our patients’ families are far away, so family therapy often occurs by phone. At the appropriate point of recovery, long family weekends off-site provide the time needed for more intensive family work.
Through therapy, families begin to come to terms with and accept that their loved one has a mental illness. It’s vital for all involved to place shame, anger and guilt on the proverbial table and create a new dynamic. During this process, parents learn to manage their expectations and lower them to a realistic level without giving up hope for a good life for their child. Clients face the reality of the impact of their illness on family members and begin to raise their expectations of themselves. The goal is to bring families to a middle ground between expectations and denial and find a place to create healthier, happier relationships that support and nurture those involved and benefit the patient’s long-term success.
Family Therapy Components
Family involvement in treatment is welcomed, and the treatment team makes every effort to ensure that family members are provided with as well as education on their loved one’s mental health diagnoses. We value the opinion and input of family members and provide family therapy sessions through a variety of modalities including via telephone, in-person, and video conferencing.
Change happens when clients and their families choose to challenge their status quo. We believe families have a choice to either maintain any type of dysfunction or recreate a healthy balance. Both the client and their loved ones can discuss the presenting problem(s) in a safe space of vulnerability while expressing their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Our family therapy program provides education, coaching, advocacy, and therapy to help create change.
Family Dynamics Group
Our Family Dynamics Group is a therapeutic group that addresses family relationships and promotes positive, healthy communication. Group discussions include family conflict and problem-solving, codependency, family roles, and healthy boundaries. Group members can identify and process feelings about family dysfunction and issues of grief and loss.