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Why Family Therapy Is a Great Way to Make Family Goals Happen

family spending quality time together Tolstoy puts it this way in Anna Karenina: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” These days we define family as anyone who plays a long-term supporting role in a person’s life.

All families, traditional, nuclear, blended, or chosen, want to be happy, and family goals reflect that desire.

What Makes a Family Happy?

Families who achieve happiness are likely to share these traits:

Open Communication

Members of a happy family can talk to each other with love and patience. They try to understand each other.

Affection

Happy families like and enjoy each other and show affection in the way they treat each other.

Togetherness and Sharing

A happy family does things together. Everyone in the family helps make decisions and joins in activities.

Support and Commitment

Members of a happy family support each other. They are committed to each other’s well-being and happy with each other’s successes.

Resilience

Happy families can bounce back from setbacks, even from disaster.

Family Goals and Family Therapy

The perfectly happy family doesn’t exist. But setting family goals to improve your happiness can bring your family closer to the ideal. Family therapy shows the way toward developing and maintaining a healthy, functioning family, is a productive way to make those goals a reality.

Why Use Family Therapy?

Children in a happy family learn to have healthy relationships in life. Those from a dysfunctional family may have trouble connecting with others. Family therapy looks at the issues that keep a family from being healthy. Sometimes people begin family therapy to work through a child’s emotional problem. In other cases, difficult periods like divorce, illness, death, or major life transitions contribute to mental and behavioral problems in family members.

Every Family Is Different

Tolstoy was right: each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Family therapy can help by bringing the family together after a crisis and by developing honesty and trust between family members. It can help members support one another better, forgive each other, and resolve conflict. Therapy sessions can also help reduce tension and stress and bring members who have been isolated by addiction or other tough problems back into the family.

Family Therapy Is Solution-Based

Because family therapy is more focused on solutions than individual therapy, it usually takes less time. Because it is more specific, it also helps the family define its goals and progress toward reaching them.

For example, if a child is having academic problems or difficulty connecting to others socially, family therapy focuses on family patterns that may be contributing to the child’s acting out. As the family understands the source of the problem, they learn to better support the child and minimize the acting out or other unwanted behavior.

Surviving a Family Crisis

When a family suffers a crisis or loss, like the death of a parent or a serious medical problem, family therapy helps address the situation. Also, sessions will emphasize coming together to support each other and revising family goals to suit the current situation.

Conflict, Honesty, and Trust

Family therapy also addresses family goals like resolving ongoing conflicts between family members and relieving the stress and tension that go along with that conflict.

Sometimes, family members have not been honest with each other or have lost trust in one another. Family therapy can then support family goals as honesty is developed and trust rebuilt.

Better Communication

If your family’s goal is to improve communication skills, family therapy can help. Learn to listen actively to recognize unhealthy ways of communicating. Therapy also helps repair relationships and improve family dynamics.

Family Goals Achieved

Finally, we all aspire to be part of that ideal happy family. Setting healthy family goals and achieving them with the help of family therapy can bring us closer to that ideal.

Click here to learn more about family therapy. We would love to help you and your family reach your goals.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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