How is Family Therapy Different from Individual Therapy?


Families are the building blocks of any society. Every individual in a society tends to contribute more and effectively if they come from a well-defined and functional family. A family helps in maintaining relationships within the society without depending on other members of the society as a family involves blood relatives. 

Even though friends are chosen by an individual, a family is a gift that everyone is born with, and having good relationships with each family member can be extremely fruitful for the individual. Family therapy is a new kind of counseling system that aids families to resolve their issues and come closer together, bringing new comfort and joy to their relationship. 

Family therapy is becoming extensively popular in many countries and many willing individuals are now stepping up for their families so that they can mend their issues and help become functional adults and thus, a functional family together. 

What is Family Therapy?

Family therapy is a branch of Psychotherapy that not only helps patients at an individual level but also at a family level. Family therapy is helpful in solving emotional and mental issues that inhibit family members from having a conversation with each other with full honesty. 

These kinds of tensions can arise in all families but some deal with these issues better than others. It is important that every member of a family is honest and able to communicate their feelings so that they can move forward together and grow in a healthy way. Family therapy helps in healing family issues, pent-up anger, and frustration amongst family members, dysfunctional family dynamics, etc. 

In a family therapy session, all the members are advised to be open and honest about their feelings and speak to their family members in order to achieve their individual as well as goals as a family. 

The session is moderated by a Psychologist who helps to moderate the session by encouraging the family members to speak up and communicate in an effective manner. Moderators can help in posing important questions and maintain the session in a peaceful and amicable manner. 

Family Therapy v/s Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is usually a one on one session and helps to shed a light inside the individual’s mind and thoughts. It is an introspective session that helps in finding answers to a question that a patient might have at an individual level. It is more to do with the growth and resolving issues with one’s self and therefore help the individual to grow personally.

Below is the core of Individual Therapy:

  • Helps in introspection for one’s own development
  • Helps in resolving personal problems
  • Helps in shedding a positive light on problems
  • Helps in calming self and making peace with one’s self
  • Helps in resolving issues and pent up anger or frustration

On the other hand, family therapy is more focused on the individuals that make up a family and the dynamics between these individuals, and how they affect the dynamics of the family as a whole. 

Problems and tension may arise from unresolved issues between partners, siblings, parents, and children, between grandparents and the family, etc. These issues can be discussed openly and sorted out with the help of a moderator who can advise the family members on issues and arrive at amicable family relations by dealing with unresolved issues. 

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