Any discussion of family therapy requires a definition for the term “family.”
Family therapy is based on the definition of a family as a “group of people with common ties of affection and responsibility.” This definition is from the Treatment Improvement Protocol Series which is published by the Department of Health and Human services.
Family therapy in Minnesota, or anywhere else, differs from traditional therapy in that it targets the family unit, not just the individual.
To address and solve problems, practitioners of family therapy focus on the family as a system. This is based on the belief that changes in behavior by one or more members of the family will result in changes in the whole family.
Consider for a moment that a loved one has a chronic condition that they’re not addressing. Whether it’s Alzheimer’s, drug addiction, or heart disease, that condition affects everyone who loves that person. Especially if that person chooses to make matters worse by not getting help or treatment.
Traditionally, you may have urged that loved one to seek therapy to figure out their problems on their own. But family therapy offers a different approach. It either brings the family together to address problems together or treats the individual in the context of the family.
There’s been proof of family therapy’s effectiveness. Thomas Sexton and James Alexander, both doctors of psychology, worked with functional family therapy for youth offenders. Throughout their studies, they found that family therapy reduced repeat offenses to 19.8 percent compared to 36 percent in a control group.
In this same study, the cost of therapy ranged from $700 to $1000 per family. Compared to detention costs of $6000 per child and $13,5000 for a residential treatment program, the family therapy was significantly less costly.
In the case of adolescents acting out, family therapy was both effective and affordable in solving the problem.
Family therapy addresses a wide range of problems: chronic illnesses, destructive behaviors, substance abuse, addiction, and much more. If you’re ready to try an alternative to traditional therapy Options Family and Behavior Services is there to help you.
We provide family therapy in Minnesota among many other services. To learn more about our programs check out our website. Or give us a call at (952) 564-3000!