Family therapy has an impressive track record for helping parents understand and change the behaviors of a troubled teen. Teens who are acting out create stress within their families, but family members who pull together become part of the solution.
What is family therapy?
Family therapy views families as a 'system' in which the relationships between it's members are essential and the most effective way to help a troubled teen is to mobilize these resources to work together.
Family therapists work from the perspective that bringing teens into therapy with the people closest to them creates an environment for creating positive change. Think about it: in individual therapy a teen can say anything about parents, siblings or life at home. When the family meets together the therapist sees the teen in action; poor choices and communication can be dealt with immediately in the session.
Why Does Family Therapy Work?
Family therapy works because:
- teen problem behaviors come up in the session and are dealt with directly.
- teens may be reacting to issues within the family.
- family members are in a safe environment to listen to and talk with each other.
- families learn how their responses may make the problem worse.
- conflicts can be resolved.
- relationships between family members are strengthened.
- teens can apply what they learn in family counseling to other relationships and situations.
- parents are empowered to handle other problems that may come up with their teen.