Family therapy or family counseling is a form of treatment that is designed to address specific issues affecting the health and functioning of a family. It can be used to help a family through a difficult period, a major transition, or mental or behavioral health problems in family members.
Family therapy can employ techniques and exercises from cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, or other types of individual therapy. Like with other types of treatment, the techniques employed will depend on the specific problems the client or clients present with.
Behavioral or emotional problems in children are common reasons to visit a family therapist. A child’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist, and will likely need to be addressed, within the context of the family.
It should be noted that in family therapy or counseling, the term “family” does not necessarily mean blood relatives. In this context, “family” is anyone who plays a long-term supportive role in one’s life, which may not mean blood relations or family members in the same household.