עברית
יום שבת כא אלול התשעט 21.09.2019

Family Therapy

 

The underlying assumption of Family Therapy is that the family is the most significant source of support for an individual; therefore, any improvement in the functioning of the family will enhance the functioning and the quality of life of every one of its members. On the other hand, at the same time that family is the source of support for the individual, it can also be the source of tension and rejection. There is a clear connection between the behavior of the individual (for example: a child) and the atmosphere within the family. For instance, one can see changes in the behavior of a child in school when the family is undergoing a crisis.

In Family Therapy all members of the family work on problems that burden individuals. Changes in communication style and relationship dynamics within the family are likely to improve difficulties being dealt with. This usually involves short-term treatment, which focuses on specific therapeutic goals defined by the family and the therapist.

In individual therapy, the emphasis is on processes that a person is experiencing, including an entire range of emotions, feelings, and thoughts. Less attention is given to their relationship to other family members. In Family Therapy, on the other hand, the focus is on the structure of a person's relationships within the family, while looking at how each member of the family relates to their inner world. Family Therapy enables the individual to expand their understanding beyond inner subjective vision.

Family Therapy is structured to meet the needs of each individual family. In some sessions the focus will be on the interactions of the entire family, while other sessions only selected members of the family will participate in the therapy. The participants frequently can vary from session to session. Family Therapy can take place without one member of the family participating at all, such as when parents come to therapy relating to an adolescent who refuses to attend.

Most of the problems that bring an individual to private therapy can also be addressed in family therapy. Even in instances where the presenting problem is particular to one member of the family, it is possible and often important to involve the entire family in helping the individual cope. It is especially appropriate with children who naturally have strong connections, bordering on dependency, to their family.

Family Therapy is a systemic approach, meaning that where the family is willing, the therapist will also be in contact with important individuals outside of the family, such as teachers or a school counselor. Where relevant, these sources may provide important information and feedback about the child.

Family Therapy is indicated where a child or youth is undergoing difficulties, such as social problems, phobias, attention deficits or learning disabilities, excessive conflicts with siblings, displays of violence, problems establishing or accepting limits, etc.

Family Therapy may be a useful tool to accompany changes and transitions, for example around the time of a birth, or marriage in the family, when a child is leaving home for yeshiva or ulpana, or when leaving a job. Family Therapy may be especially important during times of high stress for a family, such as the move to a new home, divorce, economic crisis, sickness, death, sexual abuse, or following a second marriage.


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