For most of our formative years, the greatest influence on our emotional and physical development is our family. This family unit may include parents, children, siblings, extended family members and even those unrelated that we treat as family members. Each individual that we include in our family unit can have an effect upon us and may influence the way in which we see ourselves and interact with others.
Strong, healthy families help to build strong, healthy individuals. However, when individuals within the family unit are struggling, all members can be negatively affected. Family therapy helps to identify the challenges, foster respect and better understanding, build communication skills, and address issues that family members may need to work on in additional, individual therapy.
Family therapy can also help families facing crises such as death, divorce, addiction, or other radical changes that are impactful. By working together to communicate feelings about the crises in a safe and nurturing environment, individuals can develop coping skills, learn stress control strategies, and create stronger family bonds. Dr. Warren finds that family therapy is often a key component to individual therapy, especially for children and adolescence dealing with substance abuse, bullying, suicidal thoughts and actions, and aggressive behavior. A healthy family unit can provide a tremendous amount of support to young people who are struggling.