Whole Family SupportNovember 10, 2023
How a family spends time together, interacts with each other, and manages problems that arise is an important part of functioning, both individually and collectively. Family dynamics can be challenging in any household and many families benefit from professional therapeutic support, which is often quite transformative.
Since the return to in-person services, our Community-Based Services Team has seen an uptick in interest in family therapy across Putnam County. While not the only reason, the stressful effects of the pandemic have certainly contributed to this. “Concentrated time together and limited interaction outside of immediate family magnified issues within these relationships,” says Community-Based Services Director Clare Rigano. “Among the families served, supportive group work has been effective in helping to address a wide variety of issues, such as family conflict, parenting difficulties, collective trauma and tragedies, and family separation or loss.”
Individual vs. Family Therapy
There are significant differences between individual and family therapy. Individual therapy concentrates on a person’s self and their identified struggles. Family therapy looks beyond each individual and involves all members affected by the same struggle. Although both can be instrumental in supporting change, in many cases, family work can be even more effective than individual therapy due to reduction of stigma for an individual, and the solidarity and bonding that families experience in the presence of each other.
Skilled therapists in our Community-Based Services group work with families to improve communication, foster understanding, and facilitate positive changes. It starts with collaborative work to identify patterns of maladaptive behavior, ineffective communication styles, and other factors contributing to the identified problems. Evidence-based therapies, such as Structural Strategic Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy include communication exercises, role-playing, and homework assignments that help family members achieve better understanding and reframe thinking. The focus on resolving problems and overall functioning as a family promotes learning and skill-building together, at a shared pace. Over time, the ability for members to improve functioning within their family can also transfer to personal interactions outside of the home, and change the trajectory for future relationships and life paths.
Could your family benefit from collaborative work?
Contact Green Chimneys’ Community-Based Services at 845.279.2378
or learn more about free and confidential services for youth and families