Different Types of Family Therapy

Different Types of Family Therapy

For substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, different types of therapies must be explored for each individual. This is because every person comes into treatment with different problems, disorders, and life experiences. Due to this, treatment must be individualized.

One of the leading interventions for substance abuse is different types of family therapy. Each person comes from a family unit. Whether it’s dysfunctional or cohesive, every person in the unit matters. When one person cannot function in the family, the family falls apart. If the family unit falls apart, a person does not have a foundation to stand on. 

What Is Family Therapy? 

Family can play an essential role in a person’s life. Not only does family raise you from infancy to adulthood, but family also passes on their genetics, traits, and life beliefs. The goal of family therapy is to heal the family as a unit. With the help of a trained professional, family therapy is families learning together how to communicate better and how to resolve conflict. 

What Are the Different Types of Family Therapy?

No two families are the same. Some families have a mom, dad, and children. Other families may have multiple women or men together, with one or no children. Family means something different to each person and can include people that share a bloodline or those who do not. Each person gets to decide who family is to them.

Whoever you talk to, the definition of family will be something else from person to person. So it would stand to reason that there is no one type of family therapy. However, over time, researchers have found several effective family therapy models

Strategic School of Family Therapy

In traditional therapy, a person talks, identifies problem areas and leads the discussion. However, this type of family therapy utilizes the therapist more than the individuals to lead the conversations and treatment goals. The idea is to identify conflicts or problems perpetuated by family members, maybe without realizing it. Then, with trained and professional observations, therapists can suggest solutions for problem-solving within the family unit. 

Structural Family Therapy 

Have you ever had a friend whose parent’s let them do whatever they wanted growing up? Families have different structures and different levels of power. Sometimes the parents do not have an ultimate say. But on the other hand, some parents may have almost totalitarian control over their family. 

In structural family therapy, the main focus is how a family interacts and communicates with each other. Improving how each person interacts with other family members can help develop a healthier family dynamic. 

Solution-Focused Family Therapy

This therapy encourages family members to let go of their past hurts to focus on the present. The idea behind this therapy is that previous behavior does not affect the family’s current functioning as long as there are ways to meet current family goals. 

If you struggle to let go of past critiques and judgments of your looks from a sibling, for example, you will not be able to focus on your current problem of not being able to talk to your sibling about your life. In solution-focused family therapy, the family would not explore past hurt but focus on a solution for the current problem. 

Integrated Approaches

Since families are complex and all have different needs, combining all of the family therapies in an integrated approach is another way to hold effective family therapy sessions. Of course, not every session will be the same, as sometimes the therapist will use different modalities to help you and your family through your conflicts. However, as therapies and research are constantly advancing, mixing approaches may lead to discovering better ways to help you and your family.

Why Include Family in SUD Treatment?

When someone abuses drugs or alcohol, their mind and body will begin to change from the effects of the substances. Emotions can get numb or overwhelming, and bodies most often become malnourished. After entering a SUD treatment program or facility, a person will heal their mind and body with a holistic treatment approach

Having a family member who also has SUD, being exposed to substances early in life, or experiencing trauma or mental health disorders are some of the few reasons an individual may start abusing substances. Family can influence substance abuse through genetics or the environment they create. Just as the mind and body need to be healed for effective recovery, a person may need to heal their family and themselves.

In recovery, family interactions can be crucial to relapse prevention, regardless if family leads a person to abuse substances in the first place. Family dynamics can play a role in whether someone feels they can handle emotions and situations without using substances. 

Are you struggling to communicate your needs in recovery to your family and friends? Does it feel like all the past issues arise every time you try to talk about something with a loved one? Do you want the space to work through problems with your family? At Laguna Shores Recovery Center, we offer different programs and therapies to fit your needs. We recognize that healing does not stop with you, and for sustainable healing, you will need to explore your family relationships and dynamics. Our family-like staff is here to help you learn how to communicate with your family by putting what you learn in therapy into practice. Call us at (866) 774-1532 to learn more about treatment options.