Family therapy is one of the important tools that Minnesota Girls Academy uses to help troubled girls. Many parents, however, don’t understand exactly what family therapy is, and how the practice differs from other types of therapy. Here’s a short guide to understanding family therapy.

What Makes Family Therapy Different

The main difference between family therapy and other types of therapy isn’t the number of people present in each therapy session—it’s the focus and overall approach of the therapy. Family therapy is focused on the structure of the family and the system of interactions within it, not on the interior psychology of individuals people. Often all family members will be present together in one room for therapy sessions, but it’s not always necessary—instead, the thing that makes family therapy unique is its approach.

While other therapies that explore issues that result from the actions or emotions of a single person, family therapy wants to understand how the different interactions between family members can create stress or potential problems. At the heart of family therapy is an effort to create better interactions between family members—ones that lead to happier and healthier daughters, parents, and siblings.

We Support a Wide Range of Families

For the purposes of family therapy, the “family” can be considered any persons who have an influential and consistent role in your daughter’s life. This is not limited to immediate biological relatives—step-family, grandparents, godparents, even non-relatives may be included in certain circumstances. At MGA, we use tools like teleconference and Skype to make sure that we can reach everyone who matters within your daughter’s family structure.

Benefits of Family Therapy

Often, stressful experiences for young girls are best understood not a personal problems, but as issues created by a specific family structure of set of patterns. If your daughter is struggling to deal with the divorce of her parents, adjusting to a new sibling, dealing with the death of a loved one, or experiencing a similar issue, it can be powerful to examine the systems within the family that might be reinforcing stress or conflict.

Family therapy creates better channels for communication, and helps daughters and parents create strategies to support one another in future times of stress. It teaches emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills that the whole family can use. Ultimately, it aims to form stronger bonds among loved ones and reduce future problems.

If you’d like to learn more about how MGA uses family therapy to help troubled girls and their parents, please contact us for more information.