Family-based interventions include parent training, family therapy, and multisystemic therapy (Carr 130). Family therapy aims at resolving the problems of young people by using a family-based intervention that involves family members. Family therapy is the treatment of mental disorders with the potential to solve the issues and minimize stress by enhancing communication and cooperation among the members of the family. Many diverse problems are solved using family therapy, though it is often utilized in solving problems that are children-focused.
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Goals of Family Therapy
Family therapy aims to assist the family members in improving communication and resolving conflicts within the family. Family therapy encourages members of the family to function as a unit so that the removal or damage of one member of the family leads to the detriment of the whole group. A primary goal of family therapy is to assist the family unit to manage specific family situations such as severe disease or the death of a close person. Family therapy is meant to teach individuals to cope with such situations rather than making them go away. Family therapy encourages the development of a productive home environment (Fredman, et al. 81). Family therapy persuades to establish roles, rules, and expectations amongst the members of the family.
Benefits of Family Therapy
The therapy can help create a better understanding of the family structure and dynamics, especially with the establishment of open communication among the family members. Family therapy allows for the realization of a more fruitful communication pattern due to the trust the family members have for each other. The fact that they require one another to function as a unit contributes to the improvements in communication. Family therapy is cost-effective, it helps to save funds due to the reduction of the health service usage. The problem-solving skills amongst the family members improve with the help of family therapy because the whole family unit is involved in the working through the stressful situations (Horigian, et al. 640).
Family therapy is the most efficient in solving children’s problems, such as issues related to sleeping, attachment issues, feeding problems, problems that arise or are related to child neglect and abuse, and problems in conduct (Carr 125). Therapy sessions help children to work through their various issues with the joint effort of the rest of the family.
Models of Family Therapy
The first model of family therapy is functional family therapy. There are distinct stages of engagement in functional family therapy. The focus of the treatment is to enable the development of a healing alliance with family members. The responsibilities of a therapist are to modify dysfunctional communication within the family unit, to train members of the family on useful negotiation skills, as well as the setting of rules, privileges, and responsibilities. The therapist assesses the family behaviors that contribute to the maintenance of criminal tendencies as well as promote changes in interactions with the community and general relationships (Horigian, et al. 645).
The second form of therapy is the multisystemic therapy that focuses on the problems of adolescents. The primary goal of this form of treatment is to enhance the social behaviors of teenagers and consequently decrease anti-social behaviors and youth violence (Karam, et al. 140). In the program, the therapist works extensively with the families of troubled and delinquent teens and help to enhance parenting skills.
The final model of family therapy is Multidimensional treatment foster care, MTFC. MTFC is a combination of specialist foster placement and multisystemic therapy (Carr 106). MTFC is best suited for teenagers with behavior and conduct problems. The outcomes of MTFC include improvements in performance at school, reduction and even complete decline of alcohol and drug abuse, and improvements in emotional wellbeing.
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In conclusion, family therapy is a useful tool for solving a wide range of problems that are children-focused. Family therapy applies varied models that allow the utilization of the most beneficial strategies. Family therapy is advantageous to the individuals as much as the family unit as a whole.
Carr, A. “The evidence-base for family therapy and systemic interventions for child-focused problems.” Journal of Family Therapy, vol.36, no.2, 2014, pp.107-157.
Fredman, S. J., et al. “Relatives’ emotional involvement moderates the effects of family therapy for bipolar disorder.” Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, vol.83, no.1, 2015, pp.81-91.
Horigian, V. E., et al. “A cross‐sectional assessment of the long term effects of Brief Strategic Family Therapy for adolescent substance use.” The American Journal of Addictions, vol.24, no.7, 2015, pp.637-645.
Karam, E. A., et al. “Strengthening the systemic ties that bind: Integrating common factors into marriage and family therapy curricula.” Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, vol.41, no.2, 2015, pp.136-149.