Family therapy 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 of time, a major transition, or mental or behavioral health problems in family members.
A family therapist may be called upon to take on many different roles. These many roles require a family therapist to undergo a great deal of training, formal education, and testing to ensure that the therapist is up to the task.
Family therapists are trained to work with clients with child and adolescent behavioral problems, grieving, depression and anxiety, LGBTQ issues, domestic violence, infertility, marital conflicts, substance abuse, as well as any other issue that a person might have. In order to treat these and other family issues, therapists must observe how people interact within units, evaluate and resolve relationship problems, diagnose and treat psychological disorders within a family context, guide clients through transitional crises such as divorce or death, highlight problematic relational or behavioral patterns, help replace dysfunctional behaviors with healthy alternatives and take a holistic (mind-body) approach to wellness.
In order to help a family work together towards a healthy family life, family therapists aim to aid family members in improving communication, solving family problems, understanding and handling special family situations, and creating an overall better functioning home environment.