Advantages and Disadvantages of Family Therapy

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When looking back at a particular failed marriage, we can see that a key factor in the breakdown was that at least one person was unwilling to change, to honestly look at themselves, and to actually do the work suggested in family therapy sessions.

For example, suppose the above-mentioned marriage does not have both spouses willing to participate. In that case, it does not matter how many hours of therapy they do; the issues will never be resolved, and the relationship will ultimately dissolve.

Another disadvantage could be that family therapy often lacks the privacy a one-on-one session affords. If members are uncomfortable sharing their thoughts, feelings, and grievances during the sessions in front of the whole family, it may pose barrios to positive, healthy growth. Below is a quick list of advantages and disadvantages of family therapy:


  • Resistant family members
  • Lack of privacy
  • Power dynamics (imbalances of power or control issues)

If all parties become willing to do what their family therapist suggests, the outlook for becoming a healthier family overall will be positive. Additionally, suppose all of the members are engaged and active. In that case, therapy helps the family make the necessary changes so that members can support each other, treat each other with respect, stop enabling unhealthy behaviors, and learn to trust one another.


  • Better family dynamics
  • Enhanced communication
  • Long-term positive change

A wide range of resources to facilitate positive interactions between individuals could include youth and family services such as but not limited to:

  • Therapeutic Services
  • Individual Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Parent Engagement
  • Diversion Parent Engagement Workshops
  • Parent Workshops
  • Parent Engagement Workshops
  • Supervised Parenting
  • Family Pathways (VOCA)
  • Therapeutic Supervised Parenting
  • Substance Use Treatment
  • Substance Use Assessment
  • Drug Screenings
  • Visitations

When to seek family services

When a person is open-minded, honest, humble, and willing, the path to growing and changing for the better becomes clear. It’s been said that the key to change is rooted in willingness, and upon a foundation of complete willingness, one will be capable of building and repairing any relationship, thus leading to a better life overall. When the whole family is willing or at least willing to try, that is the precise moment to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak, and seek family therapy services.

Willingness is open-mindedness in action. It is the way we feel before we take action based on faith. As we become able to let go of defects through willingness, we are then able to put spiritual integrity ahead of our desire for instant gratification. Thus, willingness is an irreplaceable component for those seeking harmony in their relationships.

Families face many problems, large and small. Typically, problems most folks struggle with include:

  • Arguments

(Have you ever been in the middle of an argument and realized you don’t even know what you’re arguing about?)

  • Miscommunication/lack of communication

(Narcissists use this as a tactic to confuse and control. They intentionally make others feel like they are poor communicators and act as if they can’t understand what someone is talking about. They make it seem like others use their words in an incomprehensible way, saying things like, “What are you even talking about?” “I don’t understand what that means.” These statements make others try harder to get their point across, and they get flustered. Meanwhile, the narcissist knows precisely what they are doing)

  • Misunderstandings

(Typically, these are easily corrected when participants are willing to pause and ask questions to clarify)

  • Addiction/Alcoholism

(These are diseases of the mind, body, and spirit. Only those willing to admit complete defeat and surrender to recovery will have half a chance at recreating healthy relations with family members)

  • Financial problems

(Difficulty/lack of managing and budgeting money, lack of work, lack of education, etc., usually results in a massive amount of financial stress on the family)

  • Mental illness

(Depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc., impacts the overall dynamics of the family)

  • Grief

(Coping with the loss of a loved one can be mentally and physically exhausting and requires support and understanding from the whole family. Patience, love, and tolerance go a long way.)

  • Illnesses

(For example, I have struggled with chronic pain for the last couple of years and have had to rely on my sons to carry and move heavy objects that I once did on my own. Navigating the challenges and adjustments associated with a family member’s chronic illness can be daunting)

  • Divorce

(It is vital to help children/teens adjust to the changes and emotional turmoil caused by their parent’s separation)

  • Aging parents

(It is tiresome balancing caregiving responsibilities and decisions for elderly parents)

  • Disabled child

(Supporting and advocating for a child with special needs while also addressing the family’s needs is challenging and stressful, especially for the primary caregiver. Furthermore, the other children frequently feel neglected or unimportant because so much time and energy is spent caring for the child with the most needs)

  • Moving

(According to the University Hospital System of Northeastern Ohio, moving is one of the top five traumatic events in life. Moving is the third most stressful event after the death of a loved one and divorce)

Sometimes, such issues exist between only two family members, while others can involve the entire family.

Family therapy might be negated if other family members are active substance abusers, are violent, deny that the client’s substance abuse is problematic, or remain excessively angry. Family therapy is often used to examine factors that maintain a client’s substance abuse behavior.

What are the 5 stages of family therapy?

Once you and your family have decided that therapy is viable and everyone is willing to participate, you are surely on the road to better days. First, there will be some growing pains, some frustrations, and challenges as you navigate through family therapy. Then the healing will begin. Remember, the stages of therapy are essential for bringing about positive change and healing within the family.

  • Engagement and rapport-building
  • Assessment and understanding
  • Restructuring and communication enhancement
  • Resolution and healing
  • Integration and maintenance

Advantages and disadvantages of family therapy

In summary, while there might be a couple of disadvantages to family therapy, there are so many more advantages that they outweigh the negatives by milestones! By embracing openness, honesty, and a willingness to change, families can overcome obstacles to create healthier, more harmonious relationships. With the right approach and commitment, family therapy leads to transformative healing and brighter futures for everyone involved.

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