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Family Therapy

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Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy that involves all (or most) members of a nuclear family or step-family and, in some cases, members of the extended family (e.g., grandparents). A therapist conducts multiple sessions to help families deal with important issues that may interfere with the functioning of the family and the home environment.

The goal of family therapy is to help family members improve communication, solve family problems, understand and handle special situations (e.g., death, serious physical or mental illness, or child and adolescent issues), and create a better functioning home environment. Family therapy is also warranted when a step-family is formed and begins having difficulties adjusting to a new family life.

Family therapy, as conducted by Dr. Kyle Cushing, is based on family systems theory, in which the family is viewed as a living organism rather than just the sum of its individual members. Dr. Kyle Cushing uses systems theory to evaluate family members in terms of their position or role within the system as a whole. Problems are treated by changing the way the system works rather than trying to fix a specific member.

Results can vary, but in good circumstances they include greater insight and improved communication within the family. Boundary concerns including enmeshment and attachment issues can be addressed to increase differentiation of individual family members. Counseling helps loosen previously automatic behavior patterns and assists in resolving the problem that led the family to seek treatment.

For more information about family therapy, or to schedule an initial appointment, please contact Dr. Cushing by phone or email.