Tips for Family Conflict Therapy

When a family enters into family conflict therapy, much of their success in the program relies on their own behavior during treatment.  But for many, the way to get the most out of therapy is not wholly apparent.  With that in mind, the following tips have been selected in an effort to best prepare families in conflict for the time with a licensed therapist. 

Tips for Family Conflict Therapy

  • Be honest with the counselor (and one another).  The only way that family conflict therapy is going to produce positive results is if everyone involved is 100% open and honest about their feelings.  Holding back or being untruthful about anything that is affecting the family is just going to keep the counselor from being able to do his or her job.
  • Everyone needs to attend family therapy.  Meeting all therapy scheduling obligations (including showing up for every meeting on time as planned) shows that all parties involved are making a serious commitment to finding resolution to the family problems that have beset them.
  • Finding an appropriate counselor.  Not every counselor is right for every family.  There must be a high comfort level with this individual given that they are asking members of the family to step up and talk in a very frank manner during the sessions.
  • Don’t single out one member of the family.  If one particular individual has a drug addiction issue or other dominant issue they may be the focal point of many of the issues facing the family.   Still, it is important to not focus too much negative attention on them during therapy.  Being overly confrontational may force them out of the “safe place” of therapy.
  • Don’t dominate the conversation.  Certain members of the family may have a lot to get off their chests in therapy.  It is important however to make sure that all parties get enough time to voice their opinion and concerns during therapy.
  • Put knowledge into action.   The lessons learned during family conflict therapy are of little or no use if they are not practiced on a day-to-day basis.  It is one thing to provide “lip service” during treatment, and promise to change one’s behavior, but quite another to actually make it happen.
  • Agree to follow up with the counselor.  Many counselors will like to know how a family is doing once their initial therapy is complete.  Following up with additional counseling sessions shows added commitment to the process and provides a way for the family to get a “tune-up” if any additional work needs to be done.

 

Getting Started with Family Conflict Therapy

 

The most important first step in family conflict therapy is literally getting everyone in the door.  That means taking the time to explain to spouses, children or whoever else is suffering as a result of the conflict the importance of therapy and all the good things the future can hold post-treatment.  This is NOT a time to be judgmental or negative.  In order to help everyone be more comfortable with the idea of family therapy, use positive reinforcement instead of threaten punishment.

As the name suggests, Moonview Sanctuary offers a safe place for families in crisis to heal.  The Coping with Personal Crisis programs at Moonview are designed to elicit positive results from those families that are desperate for solutions to their challenges.   Contact Moonview Sanctuary today for more information about their outpatient treatment programs.

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