Mental health and substance use disorders impact the whole family, and the involvement of loved ones is crucial in helping individuals move through difficulties and achieve lasting change.
Root Center welcomes the families, friends, and loved ones of our clients to join in the therapeutic process. Educational programs are available to help family members access the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to support their loved ones in their journey. Root Center clinicians also offer compassionate, individualized family therapy to help families enhance communication, work through stressors, and regain balance and synergy.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that helps family members increase communication, reduce stress, and resolve problems. Family therapy sessions are facilitated by a master’s-level counselor, and typically last between 60 and 90 minutes. A client may find it helpful to invite one or several family members to a family therapy session, and families typically engage in multiple sessions to allow for adequate time to increase understanding, process experiences and develop lasting resolutions for difficulties.
Different concerns may be addressed at different sessions. Family therapy can occur regularly (i.e. weekly) or as needed throughout a client’s treatment process. Family therapy can be particularly helpful in deepening a family’s understanding of mental health or substance use disorders, reducing conflict between family members or romantic partners, or processing specific issues such as financial, marital, and parenting problems.
Family therapy is often used in conjunction with other therapeutic interventions, such as group therapy, individual therapy, and medication management.
Goals of Family Therapy
Family therapy has been proven to be extremely effective in creating lasting change for clients with mental health and substance use disorders and is a core part of holistic care. Every family is different, so our therapists work closely with each family to understand their individual strengths and needs to develop a plan that is right for them.
Other primary goals of family therapy include:
- Increasing understanding of mental health or substance use disorders
- Gaining insight into family patterns, stressors, and coping styles
- Deepening empathy and bonding between members of a family
- Increasing stress tolerance, cooperation, and problem solving within the family
- Improving communication and conflict management skills within the family
- Clarifying boundaries and needs within the family
- Working through a particular issue, such as a crisis or death of a loved one
- Reducing flooding and emotional strain within the family
- Developing a more supportive and inclusive family environment
What to Expect
Every client starting services at Root Center will participate in a comprehensive clinical assessment with a master’s-level clinician. This initial assessment typically takes 60-90 minutes, and your clinician will gather information about your concerns, discuss your symptoms and family history, and make recommendations for what types of support might be best for you.
Each client works with their clinician to identify goals and develop a plan for treatment. Your clinician will discuss the option of family therapy and help you decide whether this option would be beneficial to you. Family therapy may start after a client stabilizes in their program for a period of time, or it may start immediately upon admission, depending on the clients’ needs and preferences. The client may choose to invite a particular family member to therapy sessions and may have other family members join at different points in the healing process.
Family therapy is held in a private counseling office and facilitated by a master’s-level clinician who has training in counseling, psychology, and family dynamics. Participants may sit in chairs or around a table. The counselor will provide an introduction and discuss the goals of the session, guidelines for interaction, and limits of confidentiality. Family members will be invited to share about their experiences and may be encouraged to try new communication, mindfulness, and problem-solving strategies during the session. The counselor may also provide psychoeducation to family members about mental health, coping strategies, and other wellness topics. Members within the family may be recommended to attend individual therapy with an independent counselor as appropriate. In some cases, family therapy is co-facilitated by two counselors.
The goal of family therapy is to facilitate effective communication between members of the family and help the family to become aware of patterns and roles within the system. The counselor is not there to make decisions for the family or take sides on conflicts among family members. Instead, the counselor will work to produce a supportive, open environment for family members to reflect on issues, support each other, and grow.
Root Center accepts all major health insurance plans, including Medicaid, Anthem, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna. Because insurance coverage varies by plan, please call today to find out if your specific plan covers our services. A self-pay rate is also available.
Appropriateness for individual counseling can be determined through a clinical assessment at your first appointment with a mental health professional at Root Center.
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