What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is sometimes also called family counseling or marriage and family therapy. It is a form of mental health care and therapy that treats a couple or entire family as a unit, paying special attention to how the members of the family interact with each other. Each family has a unique personality, communication style, and unique problems they face together. In family therapy, all members of the family attend counseling sessions as a group, and together they learn how to identify conflicts within and without the family, as well as how to communicate better and problem-solve together.
Some topics commonly addressed in family therapy include:
Adoption or Infertility
Family therapists may work in group practices, private practices, schools, or hospitals. They work with families of all different kinds to help them live together as a stronger unit.
What is Counseling?
Counseling is a type of professional guidance for handling problems in life. There are many types of counselors, and they serve an incredibly wide variety of people with all kinds of different needs. There are general counselors, marriage and family counselors, school and student counselors, career and vocational counselors, religious counselors, and gerontological counselors specifically for the elderly.
In all cases, counseling works when the client and the counselor talk to each other and develop a trusting relationship. The counselor listens respectfully to the client’s problems. Then the two together work on identifying goals, increasing coping skills to overcome any troubles, and improving useful skills such as communication. The goals of counseling will be different for each person, but generally they include an increased sense of well being, decreased distress and anxiety, resolved crisis, and increased ability and function in daily life.
What is Child Psychology?
Child psychology, sometimes called pediatric psychology, is a subspecialty of psychology that focuses on the behavioral and emotional health of children and adolescents. Child psychologists provide evaluation and treatment to children via therapy. Some of the disorders they commonly treat include:
Oppositional or defiant behavior
Depression or Anxiety
Coping with physical illness, including terminal illness and pain
The goal of psychological therapy for children is usually to teach patients skills for coping with stressors and difficult situations in their lives. They may learn or strengthen problem-solving skills. Eventually, with the help of therapy, children’s sadness, stress, or anxiety are reduced and their ability to function well is increased.
What is Psychotherapy?
Psychotherapy is commonly referred to as talk therapy or simply therapy. Trained therapists help and guide patients as they talk through issues in their life and problem-solve ways to make healthy changes.
The use of therapy is extremely common, with millions of people going through therapy each year in the United States alone. It can be useful for patients who want to learn coping skills when they are facing difficult issues or need to heal from past trauma. Therapy can also be a support tool when patients are facing stressful periods in their life. Essentially, therapy is helpful any time life events require more mental or emotional resources than a patient currently has. Change is a major theme of therapy, offering a supportive environment for patients to make changes to their life or themselves so that past problems stop recurring in the future.
There are several different types of psychotherapy, with the most common being cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. This type of therapy focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a form of CBT that encourages acceptance and validation as well as change. Interpersonal therapy focuses on relationships and communication as a pathway to feeling better. Psychoanalysis, an older form of therapy invented by Sigmund Freud, teaches that all problems stem from the unconscious.
Although many people see therapists by themselves, not all psychotherapy is one-on-one. For example, in family therapy, the therapist treats a family as a unit. Patients can also participate in group therapy, where they meet as a group to work on issues.
Psychotherapy is a safe, powerful healing tool that can help patients lead happier and healthier lives. However, therapy is a joint effort between the patient and the therapist. Both need to work together in order for therapy to be effective.
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