• 25/05/2024 00:46

How Family Therapy Works: 6 Benefits You Didn't Know About

When the relationship between you and your family is not going well, it can be difficult to restore those connections. And let's face it: “letting things go” doesn't usually make the holidays (and other days) any more manageable. Fortunately, family therapy exists. How does family therapy work and is it really useful?

ContentHow family therapy works: you will hear each other You can abandon outdated communication patterns How family therapy works: you will learn to cope with conflicts You can find a common language How family therapy works: you will understand each other's difficulties This can help you cope with general trauma

Many people are skeptical about this. But WomanEL wants to share with you the experiences of other people who have found that family therapy can completely change the dynamics of relationships between relatives.

How family therapy works: you will hear each other

When you have an argument with someone in your family, you may resort to your worst behavior (without judgment). What's helpful about having a therapist is that they can act as a referee and point out mistakes. Kelsey S., 24, says that when she went to therapy with her father and two brothers, being on neutral territory helped them blow off steam.

When people are not on guard, they are more likely to listen and will understand what you are saying. And that's what happened to Kelsey. “It turns out there were so many things that he didn't even realize affected me,” she adds.

You can opt out of outdated communication models

If you have siblings, you may know what it's like to be the low-maintenance (aka often neglected) middle child, or the eldest who always has to be the adult and take care of the younger ones. Unfortunately, this dynamic continues even as you get older.

Isabel Mata says: “When I went to therapy with my older sister, I said that I felt like she still saw me as a child. This bothered me a lot and made me feel like I couldn't grow as a person. But through therapy, I was able to share how I had changed, and she could do the same. This helped us form a new view of each other.”

How family therapy works: you will learn to cope with conflict

Even when you know how much someone means to you, it's hard to get over past hurts. For 32-year-old Sarah K., family therapy helped restore a difficult relationship with her mother after the death of Sarah's father. At first they could not go through a single session without conflict. But their therapist taught them some communication skills that they could use in and outside of therapy. “Before therapy, we walked in circles, arguing and never really listening to each other. Now we know how to step back, use our “I” statements and listen more effectively.”

You can find common ground

Family therapy helps you look at what you have in common with your family, Source: freepik. com

Defining your values ​​is essentially the key to happiness and healthy connections. While you may know what is most important to you, determining other people's wants and needs is not so easy. One of Isabel Mata's favorite things about family therapy is writing down all her personal values ​​and comparing them with her sister's. The therapist then asked them to choose several qualities that would define the ideal basis for their relationship. They settled on authenticity, openness, honesty and respect. They now constantly ask themselves whether they represent these values ​​every time they interact. If the answer is no, they look for other ways to communicate.

How family therapy works: you will understand each other's difficulties

Even if you've spent a lot of time with your family, you probably don't know everything that's going on in their world. Isabel Mata shares her experience. “After I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, my sister wanted to go to therapy with me to learn more about the condition and how she could support me. I'm so grateful that she took this step because I finally had the opportunity to tell her everything about how the diagnosis affected my relationship. For example, when we were kids, she thought I was trying to get attention. In fact, I had a fear of abandonment that made me cling to others. Through therapy, she understood my experience and let go of preconceived notions that were keeping us from truly connecting.”

This can help you cope with common trauma

Dealing with traumatic experiences can be challenging. Morgan H., 35, and her little sister will never forget the terrifying moment in 2016 when someone yelled “shooter” at John F. Kennedy Airport as they departed on their first trip together.

Morgan froze in the chaos and found herself under a pile of hikers as her sister tried to pull her out. “At that moment our dynamic changed; she was no longer the little sister who relied on me,” Morgan recalls. They canceled the trip and headed home. Although the incident turned out to be a false alarm, they immediately felt its psychological impact.

Therapy can be a great way to cope with trauma, and talking to someone who experienced the incident with you can be especially helpful. Knowing this, Morgan suggested that she and her sister talk to her therapist together. Through family therapy, Morgan realized that while she was proud to be the big sister, she and her sister needed to take turns helping each other.

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