It’s no secret that mental health treatment can help people with mental health issues. But what about family therapy? More than helping people with family issues, it can help entire family units to function more effectively by improving communication and conflict habits. Many family therapy activities for relationship-building are also ideal additions to other treatment programs, such as those that deal with substance use disorders or trauma-related issues like PTSD.
Why Family Therapy Is Important
Family therapy sessions can help you improve relationships with your partner, children, or other family members. A family therapy program can address specific issues—such as marital or financial problems—or the impact of a substance use disorder or another mental health issue on the entire family.
Your family may pursue family therapy as part of the treatment program of one member. You may also pursue it when there’s a consensus that the entire family needs professional help when it comes to communicating or maintaining relationships with each other.
Family therapy can help family members cope if a relative has a serious mental illness, like schizophrenia or addiction. In cases like this, the relative with the mental health issue must continue with their customized treatment plan, which may also include medications and one-on-one therapy.
Therapy activities involving the entire family can provide relief after situations that cause extreme anger, conflict, grief, or stress. There’s a reason why family therapy is so important. It’s because it can help family members understand and be there for each other better.
Family Therapy Activities for Relationship-Building
Family therapy activities for relationship-building exist because that’s exactly why this type of therapeutic care exists—to help build and grow relationships with your close family members. Relation-building of this kind is essential because when your family is more likely to be there for you in times of trouble, and you probably have more history with them than any close friend of yours.
Here are some common family therapy activities you may come across during sessions with your therapist:
This activity helps family members and therapists learn more about the relationships dynamics of the family. The therapist instructs each family member to pick an animal that represents them based on their potential strengths and weaknesses, then they’re asked to do the same for each member of the family. The therapist then facilitates a discussion among family members for them to understand their failings in fulfilling family roles.
This activity is an excellent tool in family therapy for building active listening and responding skills that, in turn, foster positive relationships. The therapist makes family members stand in a line, then tells the first person in line a sentence. The family members communicate the same sentence with each other going down the line, whispering so others can’t hear it. In the end, the last person says aloud whatever is communicated to them—garbled as it often is.
Draw my family
This activity is used by the therapist to gain insight into the current bonds that members of the family have with each other. The family members are instructed to draw their family and place the members according to the quality of relationships they have with them.
This activity serves as a reminder that every member is a branch from the same tree. It also reminds everyone of the nature and hierarchy of their family relationships.
This activity uses blocks that are labeled—for example, things we like in a family, things we don’t like in a family, things we wish for our family, etc.—while the entire family plays a game of Jenga. With the removal of blocks from the Jenga tower, the family discusses what’s on each block label.
This is a more detailed version of the family tree activity. A genogram is a classification of family relationships based on the types of bonding among family members. Different colors and symbols can be used to connect family members that have a good bonding with each other.
What To Expect From Centers That Offer Family Therapy Near Dallas
If you’re looking for family therapy options in Dallas County, you should keep in mind that many types of mental health professionals can offer helpful services to your family. Activities and sessions involving family therapy are usually provided by a clinical social worker, a licensed therapist, or a psychologist. These therapists typically have graduate or postgraduate degrees. They may also be credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). Looking for family therapy options for you and your partner only? You can also consider marriage or couples therapists.
Therapists in Dallas County—and elsewhere—may base their practices in certain treatment centers or may have their own practices. You can go to the nearest health facility in your area and ask them for recommendations.
Learn About Santé Center for Healing’s Schizophrenia Disorder Treatment Program
If you’re searching for a facility offering family therapy near Dallas, Texas, call Santé Center for Healing at 866.238.3154. You can also contact our team online.