Top 10 Reasons Why Your Family May Need Family Therapy

Updated August 11, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

Family Therapy: What Can It Do To Save Your Family?

The family is the most important connection that humans have with one another. Societies formed around family units and without our connection to each other and our biological instinct to protect our families, humans may not have evolved and advanced the way they have. 

Reasons & Solutions for Family Therapy

However, not all families are without troubles, stress or conflict. The key to having and keeping a successful family unit moving forward is to be able to understand and identify the needs of the individual members and balance those with the well-being of the family unit. Family therapy is a unique form of therapy that can help with addressing all of those needs. A counselor or therapist can be a great resource for families of any size.

I Feel Like My Family Is Growing Apart
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Family Therapy:

What are the Reasons Your Family May Benefit From Family Therapy?

As you look for a family counselor, consider all of the options available, including a traditional, local counselor and online therapists. There are counselors out there who will be an ideal place for your family to start exploring therapy. If you are thinking about family therapy, that in itself is a good signifier that you need it. As you make this important decision to seek outside support, here are ten reasons that indicate that your family may benefit from counseling. 

  1. The Blended Family

    A blended family is when two separate family units decide to become one. This can happen when one person with two children marries someone else that has one child. A blended family can also occur when someone without kids marries a parent or, in the same situation, the couple then has children of their own, creating half-siblings.

    These types of families can be difficult to navigate, especially when there are other parents from previous relationships still involved in the children's lives. The step-parent role can be full of ongoing negotiations as you create boundaries. Whatever role you have, everyone's goal is probably to have a harmonious family unit where all members feel heard and acknowledged. Family counseling can help you with this. Family therapy can be an easy way for families to voice concerns, and find connections with the support of a counselor.
  2. The Disconnected Family 

    Are you noticing that your family doesn't talk anymore? Are your teenagers sitting around the dinner table Tweeting and Tik-Tok-ing rather than telling you about their day? Do you find yourself reaching for your phone to check your messages before you even get out of bed in the morning to connect with the family? Do you know who your husband went to lunch with before he updated his Instagram feed and tagged you?

    The more connected we are to our phones and virtual worlds, the less connected we may be with the people who mean the most to us. Family therapy can help families who aren't communicating effectively get unplugged from the electronics and back in tune with each other. Counselors will help spark the connection that technology took away from families.

  3. Feeling Alone in a Family

    Teenagers can be moody and adolescents begin to have a desire for privacy. Sometimes your wife may want a day to herself to get away from her busy motherhood, or your husband may long for a weekend fishing trip with the guys. Wanting some alone time is normal for everyone, no matter what age you are. Families will go through phases of wanting alone time or wanting more family time.

    But if you see a family member withdrawing from the family, preferring to stay in their room rather than come down for dinner every night, not socializing with their friends or family anymore, this can become a major problem.

    Often, people who slowly withdraw from social situations may be suffering from depression or other mental health issues that need to be addressed. Other times a family member, especially a child, who withdraws may be dealing with bullying or abuse. No matter the reason, family therapy can help you reconnect. A family therapist will help you and your family get to the bottom of what is causing the disconnect.
  4. Drama With Children, PreTeens, Teens, Parents

    If you are a parent, there has been a time where you were a teenager, so you know that teenagers need to come with a whole other set of instructions that you will never get. Teenage years are full of emotion, angst and questioning. If your teen is having frequent meltdowns and getting overly emotional, this may be a sign of an underlying issue.

    Children that act out often do not have a reason for their behavior. Most people have trouble regulating their emotions until their brains are fully developed around age 22-25 and others never quite get a grip on it. Family counseling or family therapy can help identify the underlying issues happening in your family that is causing emotional torment for your children and family. Counselors will allow both the children and the parents of the family to voice their concerns during family therapy in order to create a better connection between the whole family.

  5. The Addict

    Addiction can affect anyone in the family from your spouse to your teen or extended family members. Even if the addict is not in your immediate family, the consequences of their actions may be felt strongly. Alcohol and drug abuse can be hard to come to terms with, especially when there is either a strong history or lack of history of drug and alcohol use in the family, but it is not something your family has to deal with alone.

    Whether your loved one needs an intervention, rehab services or counseling, the entire family will benefit from family counseling or therapy and learning how to support each other and fight addiction together. In cases of addiction family therapy is a great place for every member of the family to speak up about how it is affecting them.

  6. The Secret Keeper

    Having secrets, or certain things you keep to yourself, is natural and healthy. While being an open book can be important in a family and communication is essential in marriage, having a few things you keep to yourself shouldn't hurt anyone. However, if you find yourself constantly keeping things from your spouse or arranging things purposely for your spouse or family to not find out, this behavior is deceitful and secretive and can lead to some major marriage blow ups. These habits will affect the entire family.

    Family therapy can help you and your spouse discover the underlying cause of the distance created between you and why secrets are being kept. A family counselor can also help to bridge the communication gap you are experiencing with your partner. During therapy each family member may have individual or collective time with the family counselor to get to the source of the family or partner disconnect.
  7. The Sexual Drought

    According to a popular study, partners should have sex at least once per week to maintain intimacy and closeness. Waiting longer than a week to be intimate with your partner is proven to lead to distance and lack of openness and struggles with communication. There are many reasons why couples go through a sexual drought. Sometimes it is because of medications or hormone imbalances lowering our libido. Other times it can be due to something internal with the relationship.

    A lack of intimacy in a relationship can be a sign of communication struggles, depression, disconnect or simply not making enough time for each other. Often, when couples are having trouble with the intimacy, they begin to have trouble in other areas of their relationship as well which can lead to bickering and fighting. This type of strain on a relationship can affect the whole family. Family therapy can be the key to reconnecting with your partner physically and emotionally. A family therapist will provide the counseling necessary to help you and your partner heal.

  8. Intimacy as Punishment

    When your husband or wife doesn't do the dishes when they say they would or messages a past partner on Facebook to see how they are doing, do you withhold intimacy as punishment for their actions? You should never feel as though you have to punish your partner. In a relationship, two people should work together for a mutually beneficial solution to their issue, not punish each other or any other member of the family.

    Withholding intimacy is the easiest way to manipulate our spouses and sometimes we may not even realize we are doing it. This behavior can cause a huge lack of balance in a relationship and lead to resentment and anger. Family counseling or therapy can help you to find better ways of communicating your needs with your spouse.

  9. Growing Apart: Reasons & Solutions

    People naturally grow and change as they get older. In a relationship, sometimes we need to adapt to the way our families change and grow. When children are teenagers, adult parents get the chance to think about the way they want to live their lives when their kids are out of the house and, at times, family members can have very different ideas of what this looks like.

    You may have a child at home that wants to stay put because they are going to college at home and they don't want to move out. You may want to move to the mountains while your spouse wants to adventure around the world.

    A family counselor can help your family navigate its future without the bickering and fighting. Counseling provides a context for open lines of communication with a neutral mediator, your family counselor.

  10. Holding Grudges

    When one of the members of a family is holding a grudge, it can be felt by and affect the entire family. If you are constantly holding it over your husband's head that he lost 1,000 dollars in a drunken weekend at the horse betting track or nagging your wife about the time she wrecked your favorite car after you told her not to drive it or criticizing your daughter because she hasn't spoken to your other daughter in weeks, you may need family therapy. Counselors can provide a safe and neutral space for conflicts within the family to be worked out.

    Holding grudges is poison to a family because it builds resentment, anger, and contempt. These feelings often lead to fighting and unnecessary bitterness. Sometimes we don't even remember why we are mad at the person because we have held a grudge for so long: we just know we are mad. Family therapy is there for your family when the walls of trust and communication are breaking down. Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors for you to review, from people experiencing different family issues.
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