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What Are Family Therapy Techniques?

Jul 28

Active listening

Many people don’t realize that family therapy is voluntary. Therefore, you can choose to go see a therapist or not. However, if you do decide to get help from a counselor, psychologist or social worker, here are some things they may say or suggest to make your case.

They will ask questions to learn more about you and Your Role in Your Relationship.

For example, they might question you about your motivations for talking with them. And given their knowledge of psychotherapy and diagnosis, they might also ask you how you handle certain situations or struggles you have faced.


Provide reassurance

Familiarize yourself with the most common ways that family therapy is delivered, such as session structures, feedback processes, and psychodynamic approaches.

More familiarized you are with the approach, the better you will be at recognizing when you need to use therapeutic techniques in your practice and which styles / methods feel most comfortable to you.

You can find others’ experiences using specific skills and/or strategies online by searching for “family therapy technique” or something similar.

Some of the things that families may go through together include:


Listen actively

Active listening is where you focus on what someone else has said instead of your own thoughts. It can help people feel heard and understood.

When you are active listeners, they feel trust in you and what you say. They think that their comments and feelings are important to you. This makes them feel more secure about expressing their problems and thoughts.

Active listening uses nonverbal communication to show the person that you are paying attention. You move away from your own agenda and thoughts as well as words.

You demonstrate your ability to listen by being aware of your listener’s needs and wants. Then, you communicate with them using other means (facial expressions, gestures, etc.).

It also helps if you repeat what you hear back to the speaker so that they know you're listening.(This is better done when there's no emotion or stress in the conversation.)

Examples of statements that use active listening include: " I understand how you feel," " Can you tell me more?"", Let me get this right."


Look people in the eye

People in therapy should keep eyes open when they look at you. When you can’t be honest with someone, hiding behind your eyelids or looking at them through your hair will not help you to communicate effectively. Your goal is to connect with the person while they are open and aware of you so that they are willing to listen to what you have to say.

Eye contact is important because it demonstrates respect. It also helps both parties feel comfortable and relaxed, which is critical to any type of conversation.

When people are nervous around others, making eye contact helps them feel more calm and relaxed. In general, people prefer being looked at than paying attention.

However, too much eye contact can make people uncomfortable. If the other person feels threatened, they may react by pulling away from your hug, turning their body toward yours, or ducking their head. They could then start to avoid you completely.

You should let this sort of thing happen naturally. Do not force anyone to talk with you. This kind of forcing the topic comes across as pushy and doesn’t help anybody move forward.

Let them come to trust you before trying to discuss serious topics. How you ask questions says a lot about how trusted you are. By showing your confidence in the person and what they tell you, you build trust and create openness.


Be present

Being present is one of the core concepts of family therapy. If you are trying to have a conversation with someone, but you are thinking about something else, then you might be bringing up something that needs attention, but you aren’t giving it your full attention.

If you're distracted by other thoughts or worries, then you won't give this topic your whole mental focus. This can make it harder to understand each other and solve the problem.

Being present means listening intently without paying too much attention to what you are doing or thinking about at the time. It means being aware of what others are saying and seeing their reaction while they are speaking.

It also means not interrupting them every few seconds to add your voice or tell them what you think should be done. This isn’t family diplomacy!  

Instead, say whatever comes into your head as soon as you’re quiet enough to speak freely. You don’t need to worry about making mistakes when you are talking in a group setting with people who know each other well. 

Tell the truth, no matter how strange it may seem. People will appreciate hearing something as straightforward as you just told them.  

They will appreciate your honesty more than any prepared speech you could make. Remember that nothing looks better over dinner tables and in conversations than a person who is honest and direct.


Try to understand

what are family therapy techniques

One of the most important family therapy techniques is to try to understand what the other person is feeling.

This can be difficult, but it’s an essential part of being able to solve any problem.

Whether you are the one doing the feeling or someone else, trying to understand feels good and makes people feel better.

You may not always succeed, but if you just tried, that’s almost always enough.

Think about things from the other person’s perspective and how they might view your actions. What maybe obvious to you could seem strange to them.

Also, knowing why they acted the way they did can help you find ways to handle situations so they don’t come up as frequently.


Ask more questions

Ask more questions of your family members. Questions can help you get to know them better, understand their thoughts and feelings better and learn how they want to explain things.


Consider their perspective

Family dynamics are incredibly complex, and no one way is “right”

If you want to improve your family relationships, it’s important to understand how they work in the first place.

Many people come away from home health education thinking that having children means being co-parents from day 1.

But co-parenting isn’t always easy, and can present its own challenges.

A parent’s ability to function as a spouse or partner is often hindered by personal issues such as pain, stress, anxiety, and depression.

These problems can also put a strain on the marriage or relationship.

Consider if your parents were able to resolve conflicts between each other and manage their emotions more effectively before you got married (or already had kids).

How did they do this? By working through things like disputes over money, sex, social activities, and household rules.

This helps them be better partners and allows them to have higher emotional literacy. It gives them tools to handle future situations.


Do not argue

what are family therapy techniques

One of the most common family therapy techniques is to do nothing

Do not talk or respond to your brother or sister when they are protesting, arguing or having a temper tantrum.

It can be very uncomfortable for you or your sibling if someone else does this.

You should also avoid talking about issues that aren’t business related, such as religion or politics. These things may seem important, but they could just create tension in the room.

Business concerns like money management or work issues are best discussed in a calm, quiet environment without distractions.

Never accuse your siblings of something they have done; it will only make the situation worse. They might realize that what they think is true isn’t, and it can make them feel more stressed out and hurtful.



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