Thinking about taking your family to therapy? You’re not alone.
In fact, at Her Campus Media’s recent annual Her Conference in Los Angeles, Jessica Alba recently opened up about her decision to go to a family therapist with her 10-year-old daughter. While Alba didn’t grow up going to therapy with her family (who often insisted on talking to a priest and moving on), she decided that she felt inclined to “learn to be a better mother to her [daughter] and communicate better with her,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The truth is, you don’t need to have family conflicts to go to therapy, but if you do, that’s totally normal, too. Either way, here are four ways that family therapy can help you grow together.
1. You have conflicts, and family therapy is a safe space to work through them.
Therapy promotes conflict resolution, as you can open up to your therapist about any concerns in a safe environment. Therapists are trained to listen to you and mediate conversations. So rather than screaming over the dinner table, you can talk it all out at the therapist’s office.
2. You want your family to grow closer by being completely honest with one another.
Honesty is intimacy; it brings people closer. A family member might open up about a concern of which you weren’t even aware, just because they’re comfortable sharing it there. You might finally see eye to eye on an issue plaguing your family because, with the mediation of your therapist, you were able to practice empathy with one another. Or you might even learn about each other’s biggest fears or irks that, upon understanding, will help you to live more peacefully together. Whatever the case, being open and honest about your feelings and thoughts will certainly bring you together.
3. You want to learn how to better communicate with your family.
Whether or not you think you need to communicate more or better with your family (maybe you’re doing just fine!), there’s always room for improvement. Like Alba, you work on bettering your communication — whether this means talking more, using different language/tones with one another, tapping into different nonverbal communication styles, etc. The better you communicate, the more you’ll understand one another and the easier you’ll give and receive love.
4. You think going to therapy with your family can serve as a group meditation.
Maybe your family is butterflies and rainbows all the time, and you really don’t need therapy because you have no conflicts at all. You can still benefit from going to family therapy. For some people, therapy is like meditation — in this case, group meditation. That’s because it’s so introspective, and you’ll have a chance to open up with people you’re already comfortable around about your dreams, fears, personal goals, life questions and so much more.
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