Family Therapy for Families and Step-Families
Families and step-families often come to therapy around a troubling situation, perhaps a behavioral or emotional problem with a child, poor school performance or adjusting to some crisis which has occurred. Many step-families struggle with the feeling that they are not yet "a real family" and are looking for support and guidance in building a strong and loving family unit, where everyone's needs get addressed.
Family Therapy Focuses on Family Interaction
Much of what has been said about couples therapy applies to families, only more so. Poor communication and dysfunctional interaction patterns are powerful indications that relationships are out of balance, particularly between parents and children. Families are not democracies, and parents have great responsibilities in the rearing of their children. Childrens' voices need to be heard, for optimal family functioning.
Most parents want to do a better job with their children than their parents did with them. Yet, as someone has said, “when you as a parent run out of ways to respond to a difficult and challenging situation with your child, the fall-back position is to do what your parents did to you!” So, much of the work in family therapy is to hear from everyone, to understand the structure of the family, and to work to help you modify interactional patterns so that things work better – for everyone.