Family Therapy

What is family therapy?

Family therapy is typically delivered by a systemic therapist, or a Licensed Marriage or Family Therapist (LMFT) or a licensed clinician that has experience working with families or systems (LPC, LCSW). The therapist will work with the family to develop healthy boundaries, improve communication, establish healthy roles and a hierarchy among members, create an alignment among caregivers within the family system, and improve family dynamics and relationships. The therapist will provide skills and coping tools for family members and address dysfunctional interactions so that the family can improve their problem-solving abilities. In family therapy, families will practice skills within sessions so they can have more spontaneous success outside of therapy.

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When is family therapy a good option?

Typically, individuals seek out therapy for the entire family because the family system is in distress. Reasons for distress may be because one or more individuals in the family system are struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues, a child is having behavioral difficulties, there is high conflict and poor communication between the members of family, school issues, or significant stress from caring with a member with special needs.

Typically in family therapy the clinician will remain balanced and understand everyone’s role in the family and their perspective on the presenting problem. In the beginning of treatment, therapists may sit and observe the family's way of interacting to identify negative interactional cycles that are keeping the family stuck.  In family therapy, our clinicians will use evidence based treatment interventions eclectically from evidenced based practices such as Ecosystemic Structural Family Therapy (ESFT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) as well as  Emotionally Focused Family Therapy (EFFT) . Evidence-based family interventions include parent training, family education and support. These interventions recognize the important role of families in helping an individual in the system who is struggling with mental health disorders, substance use, or disruptive behaviors.

Providers who specialize in Family Therapy

Kristen Ott, MA, LMFT

Diana Capriotti, LCSW

John Guardiani, MA, LPC

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