Michael Baker, LMFT
Counseling for Individuals, Couples, & Families
What if someone in the family refuses to come?
Even if a child or one parent refuses to go to therapy, sessions can still be helpful for the rest of the family to learn to cope. Your therapist is specially trained to work with this issue and will help you navigate through it, one step at a time.
In families, especially with parents and children, many parents feel like if only their child would behave, the family would do better. So, often times, it seems like the child is the only one that really needs therapy.
Think of it this way: if you know something is wrong with your car, do you just take a piece of your car to the shop for repair? Not usually. The mechanic needs to be able to see how all the pieces of the engine work together to fix the problem. Maybe the water pump doesn't work, which causes the thermostat to over heat, causing the engine light to come on. These parts of the car work together to create problems, so these parts have to work together to fix them. That's how family therapy works, too.
How does it work?
Family therapy is based on the belief that the family is a unique
social system with its own structure and patterns of communication.
These patterns are determined by many factors, including the parents'
beliefs and values, the personalities of all family members, and the
influence of the extended family (grandparents, aunts, and uncles).
As a result of these variables, each family develops its own unique
personality, which is powerful and affects all of its members. The
number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy. The family and the therapist set mutual goals and discuss the length of time expected to achieve the goals. Not all members of the family attend each session. (source: healthwise, 2014)