Family therapy is given by psychotherapists to help members of a family communicate effectively amongst each other and sort out issues without facing stressful situations. The therapy is focussed on teaching lessons about how to strengthen family bonds and overcome tough situations in the family. It helps improve strained relationships between married couples, parents and children or with any other member of the family. The therapy helps to address all sorts of issues that crop up in the family among the family members like financial issues, or marital problems or handling mental illness. A family therapy also helps to identify if a family member or relative has got some other mental illness to like schizophrenia. Such disorder would require different treatment apart from the normal family therapy. Family therapy does not solve the issue of the family at once after the therapy or in between the therapy but it helps each other understand better and teach skills to handle the issues effectively, at the same time strengthening the relations. The treatment method uses several techniques depending upon the situations that the family is in and the type of problems that it needs to sort out with the other members.
The treatment in a Family Therapy normally does not use any medication unless a particular member is diagnosed with a mental or mood disorder like depression or schizophrenia. Otherwise the therapy helps learn how to deal with difficult situations in the family and amongst family members using certain useful techniques. The techniques focus on understanding the structure or pattern of the family and how each member interacts with each other. The techniques studies the belief systems that the family believes in, it restores the dominant issue by separating the problem from the family member and lays emphasis on the context so that the members understand the issue better. The family members are given lessons on how to communicate effectively so that there remains no misunderstanding and opacity amongst the members, relationship counselling, reality therapy and systemic coaching and systems theory is use to sort help them manage the problems. The therapy may take several sessions before the members are satisfied that they can handle the situations on their own, without any outside help even after the therapy is over.
Family therapy is usually required by the family who is not able to sort out the issues cropping up in the family amongst the family members. The issues may rise due to one particular member or may also be due to a discord between two or more members. So, irrespective of the particular person, the complete family is eligible for the therapy.
There is no such concept as ineligibility for family therapy because the complete family is required to attend the sessions of the therapy. SO, only the families that do not have to deal with such issue or the families which are adept at handling the issues amongst themselves are not required to get the therapy.
No there are no side effects of family therapy. There can be side effects only if a particular member of the family is diagnosed with a mental or mood disorder and requires medication for that.
There is no such guideline to be followed after getting the therapy. It is just about following the lessons learned while the therapy. Family therapy is all about knowing how to handle marital, financial and other issues in the family, to communicate effectively in the family. So, after the therapy is over the family must act according to what has been taught in the sessions and is able to manage to problems peacefully.
Although family therapy is short term, it still may take a few months for the family and its members to learn and adopt the skills effectively so that they manage the family issue without any conflict and even if there are conflicts they are able to handle them.
Family therapy in India costs around Rs. 300 to Rs. 3,500 per session for all the members together.
Yes the results can be permanent if the family members understand the lessons well and are able to manage and handle any kind of family issues all by themselves and effectively too.
As far as alternatives are concerned, it is suggested that the family members understand themselves well, communicate effectively amongst themselves and sort their problems on their own.