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The American Psychological Association (APA) defines family therapy as “a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the improvement of interfamilial relationships and behavioral patterns of the family unit as a whole, as well as among individual members and groupings, or subsystems, within the family.”

The needs of each family unit will vary, as they will be dependent upon the specific individuals that make up the family. A family therapist will employ certain psychotherapeutic techniques and exercises to help the family unit heal as a whole. There are a multitude of family counselors available, each with different foci and/ or specializing in different therapeutic modalities. Narrowing down the options can seem overwhelming. Prior to scheduling an appointment, it can be helpful to ask a potential family therapist certain questions, to ensure their practices align with and are able to accommodate the needs of your family. Below is a list of suggested questions to ask, provided by the Mayo Clinic:

  • What is your educational and training background? 
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Are you licensed by the state? 
  • Are you accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) or other professional organizations? 
  • Do you have specialty training in family psychotherapy? 
  • What is your experience with my family’s type of problem?
  • Where is your office located? 
  • What are your office hours? 
  • Are you available in case of an emergency?
  • How long is each session? 
  • How often are sessions scheduled? 
  • What kind of homework/ reading do you assign to your clients to be completed between sessions?
  • How many sessions should I expect to have?
  • How much do you charge for each session? 
  • Are your services covered by my health insurance plan? 
  • Will I need to pay the full fee for your services upfront? 
  • What is your policy on canceled sessions?
  • How do I prepare for my first session?

It is important to bear in mind that each family counselor is different, and not all family therapists will be a perfect match. If you and/ or another member of your family finds he or she does not necessarily jive with the therapist selected, try a different one. For family therapy to effectively work each participating family member must feel comfortable with the professional selected.

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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