Family Therapy for Mental Health

URP Behavioral Health employs a range of evidence-based treatments, such as both family counseling and therapy, to ensure that residents have the highest chance of recovery. One of these is family therapy, which allows family members of residents to learn about the diagnosis and provide a supportive environment that’s conducive to recovery. Let’s discuss the benefits of family therapy, the different types, and how it can help treat different disorders.

What is Family Therapy for Mental Health Struggles?

URP Behavioral Health employs a range of evidence-based treatments, such as both family counseling and therapy, to ensure that residents have the highest chance of recovery. One of these is family therapy, which allows family members of residents to learn about the diagnosis and provide a supportive environment that’s conducive to recovery. Let’s discuss the benefits of family therapy, the different types, and how it can help treat different disorders.


According to the APA, it’s a method of family psychotherapy, that focuses on improving relationships between family members. It addresses behavioral and emotional problems that affect and occur as a result of family relationships. Through family therapy sessions, residents at the inpatient treatment programs and their loved ones can manage symptoms and reduce maladaptive behaviors down the line.

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Types of Family Therapy

Family therapy can take on different forms depending on the mental health or behavioral problems being treated and the unique family dynamics. At URP Behavioral Health, some of the techniques used include:


This involves informing and educating your family about your parent, child, sibling, or partner’s diagnosis. The licensed marriage, and family therapists assigned to the treatment plan will guide you regarding the treatment process and how your family can cope with the effects of a loved one’s mental disorder. Here, the therapist will suggest different techniques to ensure treatment adherence.

Narrative Therapy

In a narrative therapy session with your yourself and family therapist, you’ll be encouraged to narrate your story and speak up about the experiences that shape who you are. In doing so, your family, including members with a mental disorder, starts looking at problems objectively.

Structural Family Therapy

During structural family therapy sessions, mental health professionals evaluate how your family communicates. When a member of your family has a mental illness, it’s possible that aspects of your interactions exacerbate their symptoms. Your therapist’s goal is to increase positive interactions and understanding.

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Mental Disorders That Family Therapy Can Help Treat

At URP Behavioral Health, family therapy is an indispensable part of patients’ treatment plans. In addition to daily group and individual therapy, we will schedule weekly therapy sessions for family issues that you can attend. We encourage spouses, parents, siblings, and children to attend.

Anxiety Disorder

When a loved one struggles with an anxiety disorder, family therapy gives you the opportunity to understand which triggers can result in symptoms. It will help you build the skills necessary to live with someone with a generalized anxiety disorder or a phobia.

Bipolar Disorder

Living with a spouse or parent who has bipolar disorder can take a toll on the entire family. With family therapy sessions, you’ll understand how to identify depressive or manic episodes and mitigate symptoms to ensure minimal disruptions in routines.

Depressive Disorder

Studies indicate that family therapy for depressive disorders seeks to eliminate unhelpful modes of communication between how family members interact. When depressive symptoms are the result of distress, working with a therapist can help your family reduce stress levels at home.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

It’s common for people with PTSD to have strained relationships with their families. Working with a therapist can help strengthen communication while ensuring that everyone can express their emotions. It also assists with the reintegration of a spouse, parent, or child with PTSD.


If a family member has a schizophrenic disorder, your family therapist will work on problem-solving, emotional processing, and reducing stress. Research shows that the use of family therapy can reduce the risk of relapses and enhance social functioning.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Living with someone who has OCD can be a stressful experience, and family therapy offers an opportunity to discuss these concerns. It helps reduce resentment and the use of maladaptive coping behaviors among family members. You learn to accommodate a loved one while maintaining functionality.

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks can negatively impact family relationships and lead to frustration. A family therapist will guide you on how to support a loved one with panic disorder while looking after your own needs. With these sessions, you create an understanding environment that respects boundaries.


Self-harm is often used as a coping method for overwhelming emotions. Seeking family therapy helps you understand signs that a loved one is experiencing intense feelings. That way, you can implement distractions and healthy coping skills and behaviors that reduce the risk of self-harm.

Borderline Personality Disorder

A common symptom of BPD is that patients have unstable relationships, which can contribute to a hostile family environment. Your family therapist will help you develop different ways of perceiving your loved one’s behaviors and words to understand their feelings. Similarly, you’ll build conflict resolution and problem-solving skills to alleviate self-destructive behavior and family conflict.

The Importance of Psychoeducation

Dissociative Disorders

Having a loved one struggle with a dissociative disorder can be challenging and confusing. With family therapy, you’ll start to understand what circumstances cause them to dissociate. More importantly, the mental health professional and family counselor will help you prepare for crisis situations beforehand.

Benefits of Family Therapy for Mental Health

There are many benefits of seeking marriage, marital and family therapy when someone struggles with a mental disorder. These include

Improve Communication

When family members have a lack of understanding of their roles in the family system, it can lead to ineffective communication and harmful interactions. Speaking to a family therapist can help you develop a clearer understanding of your role in family functioning, reducing conflicts.

Learn Empathy

It’s common for each person to hide certain experiences from other family members. Family therapy sessions allow a loved one to talk about these experiences so that you can better understand them and develop empathy.

Resolve Conflicts

It’s natural for conflicts to arise when one family member struggles with chronic illness or mental health conditions. However, failure to resolve them leads to resentment. A therapist can bring these issues to light, allowing members to voice their concerns and come to a solution.

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How Does Family Therapy Work


When a loved one is enrolled in the inpatient treatment program at URP Behavioral Health, you can expect to attend family therapy sessions on a weekly basis. During the initial sessions, the therapist will ask about your concerns and discuss the goals of functional family therapy together. They’ll encourage all members to participate and listen to each other.


To prevent misunderstandings, they’ll also clarify your statements and help family members understand the impact of their behaviors. Additionally, you’ll build problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills and work towards healthy family relationships.

FAQs for Family Therapy for Mental Health

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about family therapy and its applications for mental health.

If a member of your family has received a diagnosis for a mental disorder and their mental health practitioner has recommended family therapy, then it is covered by insurance. If you’re inquiring on behalf of a loved one or family member, it’s best to find out for sure by calling their insurance or mental health provider, and asking about your policy’s coverage.

Each session takes between 45 minutes to an hour and a half. These sessions take place on a weekly basis, depending on the treatment center. Moreover, the entire course of family therapy can last for a month or more. At URP Behavioral Health, patients attend daily therapy sessions, and each week, a few of these sessions will be conducted with family members. It’s likely that your family member’s therapist will ask about your availability prior to preparing a schedule.

When a member of your family struggles with mental illness or addiction, it can take a toll on everyone in the household. Some studies indicate that treatment programs comprising family therapy tend to offer better outcomes than programs that don’t include it. That’s because with supportive family therapy, it gives everyone a space to heal as a unit and make positive changes so your family member stays on track to recovery. It builds communication between family members and teaches you how to cope with the problems of living with someone who has a mental health condition.

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