Family Therapy Approach
Family Therapy has its roots in Systems Therapy which I like to think of like cogs in a wheel; each person (cog) has a role in the family (wheel). The Family Therapy approach works from the top-down so that, you, the parents (or adults) work together to set the tone for the rest of your family. This is akin to the boss or management team setting the tone and production goals for a company. If the management team is not cohesive and presenting a united front, the company may be chaotic and disorganized. Thus, the initial step in Family Therapy is to meet with you, the parents (or adults), to identify your perspective of the issues and the goals for your family.
Often times, if teenagers are in the family, it can be very important to get their take on the issues in the family. This helps with “buy in” as change begins to occur.
Family Therapy Concepts:
You can only change yourself.
For example, by changing something that you do, you may get a different reaction from your loved one. This creates a potential domino effect when you respond in a different way than the way you have previously responded.
Mutual respect is essential.
When you treat others with respect (no name calling, no sarcasm, an even tone, etc.), mutual respect is often given in return. Any thing less than this humanistic way of responding undermines the entire process. Simply, the act of changing your tone when communicating sets the stage for more meaningful interactions with productive outcomes.
After these concepts are agreed upon by all parties, skills to implement them are are constructed. From this point, the main goals, originally set by you, are more likely to be achieved.