Family Therapy in Los Angeles
Problems among families are not uncommon in today’s age. However, the anxiety, stress, and anger that can arise from family conflicts can leave one feeling isolated. At Montare Health, we believe family conflicts are often best resolved with the help of a professional. Our family therapy in Los Angeles provides treatment designed to treat each individual member of the family as well as the family as a whole.
What is Family Therapy?
Also known as family counseling, family therapy in Los Angeles is a form of psychotherapy. It focuses on building and maintaining healthy family relationships. Family therapy promotes understanding and working together to problem solve. It does not view an issue as merely the individual’s problem, but as something that affects the whole family unit. In family therapy, family members will learn how to communicate their needs and how to support each other.
Some people feel like seeking help from a therapist is a sign of weakness. However, it is actually the total opposite. It takes strength to admit that the problem is bigger than someone and they can handle it without help. In conclusion, if someone that proud person who strives to appear perfect to the outside world, it’s best to remember that their family is more important than pride.
Family therapy in Los Angeles helps with the following:
- Behavioral issues in children and teens
- Sibling conflicts
- Parent-child conflict
- Death in the family
- Chronic health problems within the family
- Caring for special needs family members
- School issues
- Mental health issues
When to Seek out Family Therapy in Los Angeles
When a person has reached the end of their rope or is just ready to give up on living a happy family, take 1 last step and reach out for help. If members of their family are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then it is time to reach out for help today.
- Normal family routines have become difficult. The family energy is not as it has been.
- Communication is a challenge. Is the “silent” treatment the new normal? Is there a disconnect in understanding each other?
- Emotional outbursts. Is there more screaming than talking? Is every reaction excessive?
- Traumatic event. Has there been a death in the family? Are the parents separated or divorced?
- Behavioral issues. Are the children out of control? Is there trouble at school?
- Feeling hopeless. Does the situation feel worse? Is the stress too much to handle?
- Mental health issues. All mental health problems take their toll on the family unit.
- Threats or acts of violence. Has the roughhousing gone too far? Has playing resulted in angry outbursts?
- Withdrawing from life. Is someone spending more time outside the family circle?
What is a Family Therapist Trained to Do?
A family therapist is trained to play many roles when treating a family. Because of the many roles they play, formal education and hands-on training are extremely intense. From starting the bachelor’s program to the master’s degree to internship and supervised experience, it will take almost 10 years to complete their training.
Family therapists will develop their own treatment plans and techniques, they must all be proficient in the following areas:
- Marital issues
- Domestic violence
- Depression and anxiety
- Grief counseling
- Behavioral issues
- LGBTQ issues
Therapists must be able to:
- Observe the family unit
- Diagnose and treat mental disorders
- Evaluate and treat relationship issues
- Guide a family through a crisis such as a divorce or death
- Treat problematic patterns
- Find alternative positive behaviors for negative ones
- Take a holistic approach to treatment and not always a clinical one
The Goal of Our Los Angeles Family Therapy
The general goal of family therapy in Los Angeles is to work together to heal emotional, mental, and behavioral issues within the family. Therefore, the therapist’s aim is to guide the family in problem-solving, communication, and building a happy home. The ultimate goal of family therapy depends on the issues within the family unit.
If the family is a blended family, the goal is often to build communication and encourage healthy interactions. However, if a family member had a severe mental or health issue, the goal of family therapy would be education, empathy, and setting healthy boundaries. A non-traditional family may seek family therapy to receive the tools needed to handle external pressures and solidify support within the family unit.
Benefits of Family Therapy in Los Angeles
Family therapy is a “holistic” approach to healing all aspects of the family dynamic. With the guidance of a therapist, family members are safe to express themselves in a controlled environment.
The benefits of family therapy include:
- Better conflict resolution
- Improved problem-solving skills
- Increased healthy communication
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Learning healthy patterns
- Empathy for others
- Listening skills
- Creating a solid support system
- Building trust
- Helping a family through a crisis
- Define individual roles within the family
- Asking and receiving help
Life is constantly throwing challenges at us. Having a strong family support system to help a person through those challenges is essential.
What Happens in Family Therapy?
First, a licensed therapist will take the lead by making sure each family member feels safe to express themselves. Once the lines of communication are open, the therapist will:
- Get each member’s view on the family dynamic
- Identify each person’s expectations of therapy
- Identify each member’s influence on the issues
- Develop unique treatment plans for the family
- Teach the tools needed to continue strengthening the family bond
- Stay impartial and non-judgmental
Types of Family Therapy in Los Angeles
One of the most common types of therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy is a hands-on approach to problem-solving. The focus of CBT is to change one’s way of thinking in order to change feelings and behavior.
The common goals of CBT are:
- Identify specific issues
- Raise awareness of unhealthy thoughts and feelings
- Identify negative thoughts and develop tools to make them positive
- Learn new behaviors
Strategic therapy is a form of therapy that helps develop a plan to solve the problems within a family. There are 5 initial stages of strategic therapy that a therapist will help someone through on the initial visit.
- The Brief Social Stage. The therapist observes the family and encourages all members to participate.
- The Problem Stage. The therapist asks questions that reveal problems within the family.
- The Interactional Stage. The family is encouraged to discuss their issues in more depth.
- The Goal Setting Stage. The issues are identified and goals are set to fix the issues.
- The Final Stage. The therapist assigns tasks for the family that will help them reach goals.
While many forms of family therapy encourage the family to come up with ways to fix the issues, in strategic therapy the therapist has more of a say when it comes to problem-solving.
The belief of systemic therapy is that if the family is balanced, then the family is good. In systemic therapy, the therapist focuses on the emotions and feelings of each member of the family and the influence these feelings might have. The therapist will help rebuild the family dynamic while ensuring each individual feels heard.
When a member of the family is suffering from mental conditions, it alters the family dynamic. It changes the way things are done in the house, the amount of time given to each member of the family, and even the role that certain members play. Along the same line as systemic therapy, structural therapy focuses on the following objectives:
- Family interactions
- Family structure
- Family response to needs
- The role of the therapist
Narrative therapy believes that the way we interpret our problems is revealed in the way we tell our stories. Every person feels like the way they see an issue is the correct way it happened. But the benefit of each member of a family telling their story is that, by working together, the truth of the situation can be shared.
This type of therapy is used with multiple generations living under the same roof. After all, it can be stressful when the older generation doesn’t understand the younger generation, with the middle generation caught in between.
Older generations often have a hard time understanding mental disorders. Sometimes they think that a mental health disorder is just a behavioral issue that requires a little “tough love.” They need family therapy to understand how to live in the house. In transgenerational therapy, the therapist seeks common ground and equal understanding between the generations.
Is Family Therapy Temporary or Long Term?
Some families are interested only in fixing the issues at hand. Other families believe that the benefits of family therapy have made such a difference that they want to continue. For families trying to find balance in the battle with mental disorders, it is highly recommended that family therapy be a long-term treatment. Even when mental disorders is under control with therapy and medication, it is important that the whole family feels happy and healthy.
Continued family therapy can enable a busy family to enjoy some designated together time. After all, as families grow and grow up, it can grow harder to find time together. Meanwhile, it can become easy for someone to feel unimportant. During this time, it’s important to talk about and fix any issues before they become big problems.
In conclusion, every member of a well-balanced family feels heard and loved. Our family therapy in Los Angeles can heal families, enabling them to become healthier and happier.
Start Family Therapy in Los Angeles, CA Today
Individual psychotherapy is important for people who live with a mental health disorder, but most mental health disorders can be considered a family issue. Fortunately, the caring staff of Montare Behavioral Health is waiting to help you and your family through our therapy services in Los Angeles. Don’t let mental disorders continue to divide your family. Contact us for help.