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Family therapy is a class of psychotherapy designed to help family members identify patterns, problems, mental and behavioral disorders in each family member.

Dr. Michael Herkov explains family therapy views individuals’ problems in the context of the larger unit. Family systems theory involves the idea that families are “continuous entities with rules, beliefs, and values that shape each member over time.” The assumption of family therapy is that issues cannot be successfully addressed or resolved without an understanding of the family dynamics. Through family therapy, a family therapist will analyze habits presented by their clients and use them to inform the treatment plan which will incorporate proven psychotherapeutic methods to solve and mend interpersonal relationships. 

Activities

There are many different types of activities that can be included in family therapy sessions. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology provides a list of commonly used family therapy activities, some of which include the following examples: 

  • Colored Candy Go Around: this is an excellent ice-breaking activity as it engages everyone present. Each member will be given seven different colored pieces of candy (e.g., Skittles, M&Ms, etc.) and will be instructed to count the number of each color and provide the same response to the following prompts:
    • Green – words to describe your family
    • Purple – ways your family has fun
    • Orange – things you would like to improve about your family
    • Red – things you worry about
    • Yellow – favorite memories with your family

After the first family member has shared their answers, they can select the next person to share. 

  • Mirroring Activity: this can be used to help family members relate to one another and work together. Family members will pair up and mirror each other’s movements. The goal of this activity is to emulate every move the other person is making without touching them. This helps members become more in tune with the gestures the other person makes and their emotional reactions. 
  • Miracle Question: Everyone has dreams for their future. Allowing each family member, the space to share their future desires and listening to the desires of each member can provide an understanding that allows supporting each other to become effortless.
  • Create a Genogram: a genogram is a diagram illustrating that represents the schematics of a family tree. It can be used to map out blood and marital relations and can be used by a therapist to track a family’s emotional relationships.  

Every family unit is unique and depending on the therapeutic goals and the family’s nuanced needs will each benefit from a distinct treatment plan. 

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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