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Family Therapy

Counseling for your family

Family therapy is a form of therapy that sees the whole family as the client. The Maria Droste Counseling Center in Denver, CO, offers in-person and online family therapy, regardless of your ability to pay.

Family therapy works with the family as a team and focuses on finding out where it is strong and where it needs strengthening. Any number of stressors can impact the family system and cause dysfunction or conflict.

Therapy provides a way for the family to adjust to stresses, old or new, and to learn to communicate and function. In fact, anyone in a ‘family’ unit can get help. Over the years, the concept of family therapy has evolved to include anyone in a loving, supportive relationship regardless of whether they are related or married.

We offer affordable online and in-person family therapy.

Contact us today if your family is looking for help. Our team will match you with a therapist that is right for you. Let us know if you have any specific preferences, including gender, payment type, approach to services, or other criteria.

Is family therapy right for you?

Children grow up and move away, parents split up and remarry, and outside stressors like job loss or medical issues can create flux in a family’s life. In these situations, making adjustments well can mean the difference between success and struggle.

How often have you heard this: “I am never going to raise my kids like my mother/father raised me”? The truth is that parents do the best they can with their children, and we all learn from the teachers we have: our parents. Although our parents did the best they could, times change and every generation faces new challenges.

To explain, stresses to the family can be caused by many changes, including:

  • Blended family
  • New baby
  • Death in family
  • Shifts in family structure
  • Parenting issues
  • Divorce
  • Major illness
  • Job loss

In addition, there are also some signs that it might be a good time to look for external help. If your family is experiencing one or more of these stressors and you are running out of ways trying to solve them, our licensed therapists at Maria Droste Counseling Center would be able to help you improve troubled relationships with your partner, children, or other family members. 

How does family therapy work?

To begin with, there are no “bad guys,” just systems that have gotten off balance by internal or external changes, which need some adjustments to function well again.

Often a family lives together, but sometimes they live apart. Ideally, everyone in the immediate family should join each other in therapy. In some cases, it might be helpful to include other family members if they are involved in the problems that need to be addressed. Like individual therapy, there are many approaches to family therapy depending on the needs of the family and the training of the therapist.

What to expect

Here are some of the ways that we conduct family therapy sessions at Maria Droste Counseling Center:

Gather information about family difficulties and goals

Similar to individual therapy, it is important to start treatment by gathering information about the family including family history, relationships, topics of difficulty or disagreement, and goals for family therapy. It may be helpful for the therapist to learn additional details about your family such as cultural background, spiritual practices, mental health history, and other details you feel are central to understanding your family unit.

Observe how family members interact with each other

Part of the therapist’s job in family therapy is to be an unbiased observer. They seek to understand how family members interact with one another: Is one member always dominating the conversation while another refuses to engage in difficult discussions? Is there a tendency for some children to be treated differently than others? Do you notice your child having less frustration tolerance with one parent compared to the other?

Relationships between each member of the family unit should be understood in order to identify possible sources of disagreement or misunderstanding. There is no one person in a family that is responsible for all of the difficulties they are having, which is why it is important to understand the role of each family member so the unit can function more cohesively.

Highlight problematic relational or behavioral patterns

While it is important to remember that there is no single cause for family difficulties, therapy can help to understand patterns that may be causing a disruption within the family. Types of behavior in relationships are often passed down from generation to generation, and it may require outside intervention for these unhelpful patterns to stop recurring. Every family has some problematic patterns, and it can help to work on these in a contained space with the therapist mediating difficult topics. Whether the behavioral patterns are related to stress management, mental illness, or substance use, our counselors can help your family to identify painful patterns and develop skills to intervene before they cause relational issues.

Guide clients through transitional crises such as divorce or death:

Similar to a well-oiled machine, families can be understood as a system that functions best when taken care of and functioning at optimal conditions. A family, similar to a machine, can struggle to function as a unit when difficulties present themselves, or certain parts are not functioning as they usually do. Transitions such as divorce or the blending of multiple families can cause issues between family members.

Experiences of grief including a death in the family or a member’s illness can also impact how the system functions. Family therapy can help each member of the unit understand how he or she is experiencing this transition, as well as the experience of others. This can create more compassion and closeness among difficult transitions, making sure the family remains as a unit when support is needed most.

How effective is family therapy?

In numerous studies, the efficacy and effectiveness research related to family therapy has demonstrated good experimental outcomes. 

Firstly, family therapy can heal relationships. It can help give a voice to each family member as well as equalize responsibility so that no one is being labeled as “the problem.” 

Secondly, family therapy can help parents who feel they have lost control of their children become empowered with empathy and love instead of anger and control. 

Lastly, family therapy can help individuals with mental illness or in behavioral health treatment (eating disorders, depression, or addiction) by helping everyone in the family give the right kind of support to that family member. As a result, recovery can stick and relapses are avoided. 

At the end of the day, it is our family — of whatever makeup — that we come home to and with whom we share a sense of belonging. If your family is struggling, you don’t have to wait for a complete system breakdown. Therapists at Maria Droste Counseling Center are provide effective and efficient family therapy, and we will be happy to talk more about how they could help your family.

We offer affordable online and in-person family therapy.

Contact us today if your family is looking for help. Our team will match you with a therapist that is right for you. Let us know if you have any specific preferences, including gender, payment type, approach to services, or other criteria.


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