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Family Therapy: A Different Approach to Psychotherapy

Family Therapy: A Different Approach to Psychotherapy

Last Updated: 01-05-2023

Written by :

Ms.Tanvi Jain
Clinical Psychologist
RIMS - M.Phil

Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
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Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that is designed to work with families in order to help them to function effectively. There are various problems that occur due to the distorted functioning of the family structure and so family therapy helps in identifying them and then developing ways to deal with them in order to function properly.

It is structured in a way that there is a psychotherapist who feels the need to understand the family dynamics and so calls in for the family members. All the family members are given their chance to say in turn wise manner which helps in developing effective communication. By improving how family members interact and relate to each other, family therapy can help in building close relationships.

It is actually a very different approach to psychotherapy as more than targeting individual development and growth, it targets the entire family in order to deal with certain problem areas or also to develop effective communication.

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Understanding family therapy through different types-

The family therapist may use different types of therapy in order to help the family work through their concerns. Some of them use a specific type of therapy while others can use more of a multimodal approach. The different types of family therapy are-

  1. Psychoeducation- in this type, the therapist tries to educate the family members about the concerns that may be related to the mental health concerns of a family member or maybe educate the family member about the needs of a teenager in the family, etc.
  2. Family Supportive therapy- Here, the basic requirement is the support that a family member needs from other members of the family. Therefore, the therapist tries to make the family environment a safe place where support is easily available.
  3. Functional Family Therapy- This therapy focuses on helping the members build trust and respect for each other which in turn helps to deal with some serious problems like violence, mistreatment, and substance abuse.

The concerns that family therapy can help with-

Family therapy can help to deal with various concerns that occur in a family. Some of them are-

  1. Dealing with teenage concerns- behavior problems, teenagers exploring their sexual orientation and love interests, substance abuse, etc.
  2. Learning ways to cope with the needs of children- learning how a family can work together for the betterment of the child in the family.
  3. Adapting to changes in the family- like a child moving out, shifting from a joint family to a nuclear family, changing the structure as children are growing up, etc.
  4. Communication problems- between wife and husband, parents and children, siblings, between all the members of the family.
  5. At times of grief- family therapy helps to deal with the grieving process as it teaches all the family members how they can be of support to each other
  6. Adjusting to divorce- divorce comes with major changes as the family falls apart at this time. Therefore, family therapy helps the children as well as other members to deal with all the negative emotions and behavioral problems that may arise in the children especially.
  7. Conflicts- family therapy has been proven to work best to work with conflicts. Especially the conflicts between parents and children as it is a difference of generations and so the difference of thoughts and opinions. Therefore, family therapy helps to develop an understanding of each other and so to relate well with each other.
  8. Parenting concerns- it helps the parents to understand their children better as the children come with different sets of personalities which the parents find difficult to adjust to.
  9. Trauma- it helps to process the trauma as traumatic experiences can affect the structure and function of the family which family therapy tries to improve.

A hypothetical example to understand how family therapy works

The son in the family has come out to their parents as gay. He tells them that he likes boys as his romantic preference. This news comes as a shock to his parents and they start to yell at him, they tell him that he needs help and that this is a disease and it is not normal. The child gets very irritated with the mistreatment and he goes to the therapist as he wants to deal with it and behave in a normal way.

Here, the therapist helps the child to learn that it is nothing abnormal with him. He is behaving in the right manner. It is his parents who need to understand this. Therefore, he calls his parents into therapy and psych educates them about a different approach to their child. In the beginning, the parents are very reluctant towards the therapist but after 3-4b sessions they start gaining insights and gradually also accept their child the way he is.

This example helps us understand the way family therapy helps. It helped the child to progress well in his life and also the parents to be supportive and caring towards their son.

Family Therapist

A family therapist is an individual who has done his studies in Psychology. He has taken intensive training in using different methods of therapy but has specialized in Family Therapy. There is a separate licensing procedure in other countries to become a family therapist but it is not the same case in India. In India, a Clinical Psychologist or a Counseling Psychologist can help with family issues who have completed certain courses in Family Therapy.

HopeQure says

HopeQure is a platform where you find experienced psychotherapists who also specializes in Family Therapy. Family therapy can work with the goals to improve communication, solve family problems and create a better and safe environment for all the members. HopeQure makes sure of this and helps families learn effective ways to be with each other.

Start your online counselling and online therapy journey with techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy with the best psychologist in India at HopeQure.


1. What are the goals of family therapy?

Ans. Family therapy works with the goal of improving communication, solving family problems, learning about special cases, and creating a safe environment for all the members.

2. What are the advantages of family therapy?

Ans. The advantages of family therapy are to Facilitate cohesion and communication, Promote problem-solving through a better understanding of family dynamics, Build empathy and understanding, and Reduce conflict within the family.

3. How effective is family therapy?

Ans. Family therapy has been proven to be very effective according to researchers as it involves the family members also when dealing with problems. It helps in understanding the individual better and also to gain support for him for fighting against the issues.

4. Does HopeQure provide Family Therapy?

Ans. Yes, there are trained therapists who can provide Family Therapy on the HopeQure platform.

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