therapy for couples

At Mindful Living we are passionate about trauma therapy and EMDR – but did you know that we also offer family therapy as part of recovery from trauma?

Why think about families and trauma?

There are many factors that influence whether we develop PTSD when exposed to a traumatic event. For some people family members are a resource that can assist at times of distress. There is evidence that connecting with family and friends can make a difference to outcomes.

Unfortunately, traumas such as abuse or neglect can take place within families and when that has been the case, it can have a major impact on family members and on future generations.

Research shows that a traumatic event that occurs to an individual can have an impact on all family members. Resources are available which provide advice for how family members can support others following a traumatic event.

Families may not have a history of talking about ‘hard stuff’ or people may feel they don’t want to burden others with their feelings. Families may find the need to ‘upgrade’ their relationship and communication skill-set when there has been a trauma.

What is family therapy?

Family therapy is what is known as a systemic approach to therapy as it views cause and effect systemically. Typically, in day-to-day life, we think of cause and effect as linear e.g., when A happens it caused B.

Systems thinking sees cause and effect as circular. The more the teenager rebels, the more their parents try to control them. But the more parents try to control them, the more the teenager rebels. Both parties are reinforcing the behaviour of the other.

Family therapy can help families recognise how their (sometimes unspoken) roles, values, and rules contribute a family’s pattern. Family therapists also consider the broader context for the problem including looking at previous generations.

Family therapy is an approach to therapy that can be used with individuals or with multiple family members attending. If one person changes their own role in a family, it will influence the whole system. Family therapy isn’t only for nuclear families, or heterosexual couples and it can help adult relationships as much as it can help parents with children.

Family Therapy at Mindful Living

At Mindful Living, our Family Therapist, Fiona Young, has a special interest in working with families around trauma recovery and attachment.

Fiona is able to support family members to:

  • heal from past events that have impacted family relationships
  • build more secure family relationships
  • have a shared language about trauma
  • communicate about difficult topics
  • support each other’s needs
  • set boundaries
  • change patterns from previous generations

Fiona is unable to offer family therapy with families where:

  • there are current family court processes
  • there is family violence
  • there are intervention orders
  • the family therapy is court ordered

Family therapy can take place alongside individual therapy and it can be a once off or multiple sessions. Family therapy is not covered by Medicare but some funding sources may cover it.