Family Therapy Near Me – How to Find a Family Therapist
Brindusa Vanta, MD, DHMHS
MentalHelp independently researches, tests, and reviews products and services which may benefit our readers. Where indicated by “Medically Reviewed by”, Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. If you buy something through our links, or engage with a provider, we may earn a commission.
Family members spend much of their time together and rely...
Family members spend much of their time together and rely on each other for support. In some cases, mental illness, addiction, financial difficulties, and other stressors interfere with normal family dynamics. This increases conflict and makes it difficult for parents, children, spouses, siblings, and other family members to relate to each other positively. Over time, stressful life circumstances may even contribute to domestic violence, child abuse, or neglect.
Family therapy aims to improve communication, resolve conflicts, and repair damaged family relationships.(1) This guide explains family therapy and provides tips for finding an experienced family counselor.
What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy, or family counseling, aims to improve family relationships and help participants establish healthy family boundaries. Even when family members love each other and get along most of the time, it can be difficult to resolve conflict. Family counselors licensed clinical social workers, and other mental health professionals provide a source of unbiased support and advice, making it easier for family members to discuss their problems and find realistic solutions.
Some of the most common family counseling techniques used today include:
Therapists are Standing By to Treat Your Depression, Anxiety or Other Mental Health Needs
Marriage counseling/couples therapy: This type of therapy helps married or dating couples better understand their problems.(2) Working with a marriage and family therapist is helpful for couples dealing with infidelity, substance abuse, sexual difficulties, parenting problems, and other types of conflict.
Functional family therapy (FFT): Functional family therapy is designed to help high-risk children and their families.(3) The aim of this therapeutic approach is to improve family communication, reduce antisocial behavior, and promote positive relationships with parents, teachers, and peers.
Systemic family therapy: During a systemic family therapy session, a licensed marriage and family therapist views the family’s problems in the context of their living situation.(4) This includes their socioeconomic status, cultural values, religious beliefs, political views, and relationships.
When Should You Seek Family Counseling?
Family counseling helps parents, siblings, spouses, and other family members solve a variety of problems. A family should seek this type of therapy if any of the following apply:
Communication issues are making it difficult to resolve conflict or maintain positive relationships.
A family member is struggling with addiction, causing them to engage in disrespectful or unsafe behaviors. Substance use creates high stress levels and increases the risk of financial problems, domestic violence, and other situations affecting family relationships.(5)
Someone in the family has a disability or chronic medical condition that affects their day-to-day functioning. When one person has a severe medical condition, other family members may feel helpless, guilty, or frustrated by their lack of control over the situation, leading to increased family conflict.(6) Family counseling helps each family member work through their feelings.
A judge has ordered family therapy as part of a criminal case, custody case, or divorce.
One of the children in the family has behavioral problems that could be improved with counseling. Family therapy helps adults improve their parenting skills and better understand why a child is acting out.
Someone in the family has a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, that affects how they treat their loved ones.(7)
How Do I Find a Family Therapist Near Me?
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) has a therapist locator on its website.(8) Every therapist in the directory practices according to the AAMFT Code of Ethics, ensuring that patients have access to high-quality care.
Another option is to use an online therapy platform, such as Amwell. Many of these platforms have marriage and family therapists available to help families work through their problems, making it easier to get help with family problems. Many people also use Google, Yelp, and other review sites to find family therapists with good ratings from satisfied patients.
Online Family Therapists
Working with an online family therapist has many benefits. Many adults work during the day, making it difficult to schedule a therapy appointment without having to leave work for several hours or rush to get to an appointment after work. Scheduling a therapy session online also eliminates the need for children and adolescents to miss school or extracurricular activities.
To find an online therapist, one of the adults in the family should contact their health insurance company to find out which platforms are in-network. An in-network provider agrees to accept any amount of money an insurance company is willing to offer for a service.(9) Some online therapy providers also allow prospective patients to verify their insurance benefits before scheduling an appointment. This makes it easier to narrow down all the options.
Many platforms charge by the appointment, while others require patients to sign up for a monthly subscription. Families needing counseling should review each site’s terms carefully to find a therapist who meets their needs in terms of affordability and services provided. Prospective patients should also read the profiles of several therapists to determine which one has the expertise needed to address their problems.
In-Office Family Counselors
Some patients prefer to meet with a family therapist in person. Those patients can use the National Register of Health Service Psychologists or the American Psychological Association’s Psychologist Locator to search for therapists.(10,11) Another option is to use a search engine. Queries such as “Family therapy near me” and “marriage and family therapist nearby” will return a list of therapists in the area. For families in large cities, adding a ZIP code or neighborhood makes it easier to find a provider a short distance from the home or workplace. For example, “family therapists in Little Havana, Miami” is likely to produce more relevant results than “family therapists in Miami.”
As with online therapy, access to in-office family therapy often depends on the family’s insurance plan. Another way to find a therapist is to use an insurance company’s member portal to look for in-network providers. Reviews from Google and other sites can help family members learn more about each therapist’s demeanor and approach to family counseling. Online reviews are also helpful for finding out if a therapist’s office is accessible to wheelchair users or individuals who use canes, walkers, and other assistive devices.