Family Therapy for Mental Health

When someone is diagnosed with a mental illness, getting to a place of well-being can seem impossible; mood changes, isolation, lack of energy, and confused thinking can be overwhelming and frightening. However, the manifestations of a mental health condition affect the one experiencing the illness and the person’s family. As the person’s life becomes increasingly disordered, the stress experienced by family members also becomes heightened.

Achieving recovery involves not only a commitment by the individual to participate in individual treatment but also the implementation of a mechanism for addressing the entire family system. Family therapy is an essential treatment tool for those struggling with mental illness and their loved ones.

Eden by Enhance in Orange County, California, offers family therapy for mental health disorders as a part of our treatment plan. Eden is a mental health residential facility that treats various mental health disorders. We believe that helping the family and the patient can bring about better results in recovery.

What Is

Family Therapy?

In general, family therapy is a type of therapy that helps family members improve how they relate to one another. A family member may struggle with a physical or mental condition, which can affect the whole family. The changes in the individual experiencing mental illness can create lasting disruptions in the family’s dynamics, resulting in stress and unhealthy interactions. Family therapy can bring understanding and healing for all those involved.

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy. The mental health professional works with the target patient and their loved ones during treatment. Depending on the individual, those involved might be immediate family, grandparents, friends, in-laws, mentors – or whoever is identified by the individual as someone with whom they have an emotional bond.

Although the goals for family therapy will vary from family to family and depending on the condition being treated, there are two general goals in family therapy:

Determining when to initiate family therapy is critical. Mental health treatment can bring many challenges as the person is learning new skills and striving for stability in recovery. Unfortunately, the additional introduction of dealing with family issues can sometimes lead to falling back into old patterns. Therefore, family therapy is usually incorporated into treatment with the patient’s and family’s consent and willingness

Family Education vs.

Family Therapy

Both family education and family therapy are valuable tools for families of someone affected by mental illness; however, they are not the same. The main difference between the two is that the purpose of family education is to provide information that increases family members’ understanding of what their loved one may be experiencing, while family therapy is more about helping families apply that knowledge with one another.

Types of

Family Therapy

daughter supporting mother placing hand on back of neck

There are several types of family therapy. The type or combination of therapies employed depends on the person and the family’s particular needs. These forms of evidence-based treatment can be incredibly effective in helping families heal.

Here are some of the different family therapy options:


Family Therapy Works

Family therapy should be conducted by a professional who is specially trained and legally authorized to provide the service of family therapy. As stated previously, the therapist will work with the family to help the person in treatment and strengthen the family’s emotional health.

This work is accomplished through weekly therapy sessions. These meetings are usually 50 – 60 minutes long. During the sessions, the therapist may talk with and observe family members as a unit or individually.

Families learn about the person’s mental health condition and how to best help them. The therapy may be short-term or long-term, depending on the family’s circumstances. Family treatment can help mend broken or damaged family relationships.

Two crucial elements of this process are the honest and active participation of the family members and the supportive, non-judgmental environment created by the therapist. Because conversation is the main component of therapy, finding a mental health professional with whom members of the family feel comfortable is vital.

Benefits of Family Therapy for

Treating Mental Health Conditions

Family therapy is helpful in families where someone is dealing with a mental illness, such as anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, personality disorders, and schizophrenia. The benefits experienced extend to the individual in treatment and the family as a whole.

Research has shown treatment planning that includes family therapy is more effective than treatment that does not involve this approach. Specifically, combining individual treatment with family therapy has several benefits for those with mental health conditions.

These benefits may include:


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familytherapy3 family therapy

In addition, family therapy helps to shift the family dynamic to become more positive, which confers benefits on those not in treatment as well, such as:

Family therapy can help families learn how to live with a family member recovering from a mental illness. By practicing better communication skills, they learn how to talk and relate to one another in supportive and respectful ways. These changes reduce unhealthy patterns and build trust among family members.

Family Therapy in Orange County

When dealing with a mental health condition, finding care that is the right balance of competence and caring can be challenging. If you or a loved one is seeking family therapy for a mental illness.

Here are some factors to consider:

At Eden by Enhance and Enhance Health Group, we have many options for treating mental health issues in our outpatient or inpatient settings. We employ skilled clinicians who provide compassionate, quality care to assist you and your family on the road to recovery.

If you are seeking family therapy for mental health in Orange County, contact us to explore the possibilities for treatment to meet your needs.