Is Family Therapy Effective for Troubled Teens, Parents and Siblings?
There are many programs available to help with troubled teens. Independent counseling and in more extreme cases, teen summer camps, troubled teen boarding schools, even teen Christian programs that offer various solutions of problematic adolescents.
The conflict that arises from a troubled teen not only affects the teen, but it also affects parents, siblings and other family members. Even though various programs are effective, family therapy is another option to consider, especially if your troubled teen’s behavior starts to disrupt the family environment.
According to an article on verywellmind.com, having other family members participate in therapy for a troubled teen helps ascertain issues. While it supports a troubled teen, it also assists with developing communication skills to change unhealthy reactions. In fact, verywellmind.com states “research has clearly shown that family therapy is an effective treatment and it has the power to quickly identify problem areas.”
The first step is finding a family therapist everyone is comfortable with. They can be recommended through healthcare professionals such as a family doctor, an employee assistance program or even from the advice of friends who have previously participated in family therapy.
It’s also important that a licensed therapist must a good fit for all family members and that everyone is comfortable expressing his/her feelings during family sessions. Another important aspect is the therapist must be knowledgeable, helpful and able to properly engage with a troubled teen and talk openly with all family members involved. Remember, a good therapist will work with everyone to encourage ongoing participation.
Benefits of Family Therapy
According to Venture Academy, it’s common among families to limit communicating effectively when conflicts arise in the home from troubled teens. One of the roles of a family therapist is to help rebuild that line of communication “with an overall goal to get to the underlying cause of the teens’ behavior.”
Some other benefits of family therapy include:
- Helping families establish and reach goals to maintain progress.
- Addressing the strengths and weaknesses of a troubled teen at home and help fix these issues.
- Help parents and teens better grasp certain conditions.
- Make family members more aware of a troubled teen’s issues and help develop better understanding.
Although there is no short term solution for a troubled teen disruptive behavior, consulting with a family therapist is a great start. It’s also an effective means of supporting everyone’s feelings and finding a long-term solid solution.