Family Therapy for Mental Health Disorders


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    D'Amore And Family Therapy

    When you suffer from a mental health disorder, you aren’t the only one who suffers. Your family and loved ones around you feel the impact, which can lead to feelings of guilt and blame.  It is common for a mental health condition to shift a family dynamic and make things uneasy and tense. Restoring a family system is the root for long-term recovery, making family therapy an essential part of the process.

    Partnering With D'Amore

    Our inpatient mental health treatment facility in Orange County offers a safe, structured environment for receiving treatment. D’Amore Healthcare’s licensed mental health professionals analyze your entire medical and psychological history before customizing your treatment plan. We are pleased to offer family therapy as part of our treatment program for treating mental health disorders. Family therapy training will give you the tools you need to heal family member relationships and recover all together.

    What Conditions Can Family Therapy Treat?

    D’Amore Healthcare™ is an Orange County mental health treatment center for men and women specializing in the intervention, acute stabilization, and residential treatment of anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  We are a Joint Commission-accredited facility located in sunny Orange County, California.

    Additionally, the training in family therapy may help mend tense relationships that come about due to stress, tragedy, or trauma.

    What Is Family Therapy?

    Family therapy is a version of psychotherapy often used as an essential part of treatment for mental health and substance use disorders. When referring to family therapy, “family” may include spouses, partners, friends, as well as immediate family members.

    A family therapy session is similar to group therapy, with the main difference being the members involved. The people who participate in family therapy are either relatives or loved ones. Family counseling works towards a unified relationship between the individual and the loved ones who are impacted as well.

    Family therapy invites marital and family members to participate in therapeutic sessions that carefully rebuild the bond. Bonding exercises, insight activities, and group counseling are used to promote new communication and coping skills.

    Unhealthy family dynamics and chemical imbalances can be a recipe for disaster. These behavioral problems can cause a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the individual’s mental health disorder.

    Family therapy can help loved ones cope if the individual has a severe mental condition such as schizophrenia. The individual with schizophrenia must continue their personalized treatment plan which can include medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other treatment. Teaching family members effective ways to show support during recovery reduces the chance of relapsing or worsening the mental disorder.

    What Does Family Therapy Achieve?

    It can be challenging to get the members of the family to be completely open and honest. To get candid about the difficulties they feel from the mental health issue, a variety of mental health services can help. A family therapist will conduct a collection of multidimensional approaches to draw these thoughts and emotions. These approaches should help in areas that include:

    Improving communication skills

    Recognizing codependent behaviors

    Opening up discussion within the family

    For example, an individual receiving treatment and their parents each take turns expressing three things they love and dislike about each other. With the guidance of the therapist, this therapeutic exercise helps recognize any unsuitable interactions or destructive communication.

    The therapist conducts new coping behaviors to help manage anger, frustration, or stress more effectively. As family therapy progresses, loved ones are held accountable for using new skills that encourage positive change and meet treatment goals.

    Although the cause of mental disorders are still unknown, many conditions may be influenced by genetics or environment. This means that a condition that affects an individual could also be present in their family members too. Within the course of family therapy, those disorders may be uncovered, so family members may begin treatment for their own conditions.

    Family Therapy Techniques

    Family therapy is a combination of different approaches to customize therapeutic sessions that meet the needs of the family. The most common evidence-based treatment techniques in family therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoeducation, and structural strategic therapy.

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) states that irrational behaviors can stem from family interactions. CBT can help family members identify dysfunctional behaviors and their triggers. The techniques in this therapy allow the individual to replace inappropriate responses with new, healthy ones.


    Psychoeducation is vital for long-term recovery. If family members are genuinely concerned about their loved one’s illness, they must understand how therapy and mental illnesses work. Recognizing the seriousness of mental conditions and the importance of family therapy, family members are more likely to commit to long-term involvement. With the help of psychoeducation, individuals and their relatives should accept and understand the condition, and use successful coping strategies.

    Structural Strategic Therapy

    Structural strategic therapy incorporates recognizing problems within a family and identifying practical solutions. It is common for family therapy to use this model as the basis for treatment.

    Family Therapy Treatment at D’Amore Healthcare™

    At D’Amore Healthcare™, mental health is our number one priority which is why we use evidence-based treatment and therapies. We recognize the importance of family during the recovery process of a mental health disorder.

    Within the setting of our inpatient mental health treatment facility, family therapy requires a strong commitment of time and energy. It enables a better understanding of a condition, strengthens bonds, and develops new coping strategies.

    Friends and family members are often the first to spot symptoms of a mental health issue. If you or a loved one may be struggling with a mental health condition, please give us a call today.

    Family Therapy FAQs

    Family therapy is a type of psychology and social work that works to nurture change within families. It tends not only focus on how individuals interact with one another, but also takes into account their relationship dynamics as well.

    Marriage and family therapy is an excellent way for people in need of emotional or physical healing. Clients who receive treatment from this type of professional report high levels (over 98%) satisfaction with the results, as well almost 90% reporting improvement to their overall health status after receiving proper care.

    What are the four most popular family therapy models? The structural, Bowenian strategic and systematic. These represent just a few of many ways that families can be structured to help their members thrive in healthy relationships with one another while also productive outside those intimate settings as well.

    The goal of supportive family therapy is to help the entire household work through issues that are affecting them all. It provides a safe space for people who need it, where they can express their feelings freely without fear or stigma from others in authority figures positions like doctors, therapists etcetera.

    When one or more members of the family refuse to participate in therapy, it can cause issues with homeostasis. Think about this like an unhealthy balance that needs restoring – families seek out these healthy balances even if they are not perfect.

    Help the family work more closely together. Promote problem-solving by better understanding each other’s needs and wants, building empathy for one another even when they don’t realize it themselves.

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    Clinically Reviewed By:

    Picture of Joseph Cavins, LMFT

    Joseph Cavins, LMFT

    Joseph attended the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology where he completed a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology. Joseph interned at Aspen community services, then remained on the team for 10 years, during which time he became a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and gained certification from the Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Association as a Mental Health Provider in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.