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Family Therapy vs. Group Therapy

therapist explaining to two women family therapy vs group therapy

When your child is struggling with a behavioral or mental health condition, you want to choose a treatment program that offers a variety of therapies to help them. When it comes to family therapy vs. group therapy, you may wonder about the different benefits these two modalities offer. While both include more than one person, family therapy and group therapy serve different purposes. To learn more about the family therapy program at Imagine Boise, call today at 888.597.2807.

What Is Family Therapy?

When a teen develops an addiction issue or a mental health condition, it affects the entire family. Guilt, blame, and misunderstandings can get in the way of clear communication. As family dynamics become more complicated, the problems of the individual are magnified.

One of the core beliefs of family counseling is that the family unit is a system. Though it is made up of individuals, the group functions as a unit, with each member playing their role.

The goal of family therapy is to create a stronger unit. That goal may be reached when each member learns how to improve communication, manage conflict and take personal responsibility for their mistakes.

Depending on each family’s needs, a therapist may use different therapeutic approaches. A few types of family therapy include:

  • Functional: Short-term treatment that helps teens and parents find solutions and rebuild trust
  • Family Systems: Focuses on helping people overcome mental health problems
  • Narrative: Family members share their own stories to help understand each other’s points of view
  • Supportive: Focuses on creating a safe space for family members to share openly and receive support

The answer to the question “what is family therapy?” may seem different for each family member. It is common for a therapist to use more than one approach as the needs of the family change.

Whichever therapeutic modalities or techniques are applied, the focus is always to help people accept the things they can’t control; improve communication, emotional awareness, and collaboration; and help families transition through difficult times.

What Is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a widely available form of psychotherapy and involves several patients receiving therapy under the guidance of a qualified therapist. It is often part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes family and individual therapy.

Groups may be made of patients experiencing the same types of problems or mental health conditions, or those the therapist believes will respond to a specific kind of therapy.

The most common types of group therapy include:

  • Cognitive-Behavioral: Centers on changing negative or distorted thinking and behaviors
  • Interpersonal: Focuses on social interactions and interpersonal relationships
  • Skill Development: Improves social skills — especially helpful for teens with mental disorders
  • Psychoeducational: Educates patients about their disorders and skills for coping
  • Support: Benefits patients with a variety of mental health concerns

Groups are typically small but may include up to 12 people or more. Patients in group therapy gain a sense of acceptance. They learn they are not alone in their struggle. Individuals share with and mentor each other. Group therapy helps individuals learn new behaviors and take responsibility for their actions.

Group Therapy vs. Family Therapy

Both family and group therapy can help people understand how they are perceived and encourage healthy communication. Both types of therapy play a significant role in helping teens overcome their individual challenges.

When it comes to family therapy vs. group therapy, though the two types of therapy fulfill different needs, they both play an important role in a teen’s comprehensive treatment plan.

Imagine Boise Offers Group and Family Therapy

If you’re still wondering about group therapy vs. family therapy, the knowledgeable team at Imagine Boise would be happy to talk more about it. Call Imagine Boise today at 888.597.2807 for more information.