What is Couples/Family Therapy?

Category: Psychotherapy

Most popular types: Marriage counseling Family therapy

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Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy and family systems therapy, is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development.

Reported purpose & perceived effectiveness
Purpose Patients Evaluations Perceived Effectiveness
A recent event or problem in the couple or family 22 6
Improve communication 22 18
Support mental / emotional health 19 12
Substance abuse in family 4 1
Borderline personality disorder 1 0

Show all 18 reasons taken


  • Major
  • Moderate
  • Slight
  • None
  • Can't tell

Side effects

Side effects as an overall problem

Side effects as an overall problem
Severity Evaluations
Severe 1
Moderate 7
Mild 4
None 28

Commonly reported side effects and conditions associated with Couples/Family Therapy

Side effect Patients
Stress 3
Depressed mood 2
Despair 2
Feelings of hopelessness 2
Increased anxiety 2
Anger 1

Show all 16 reported side effects

Dosages

Based on patients currently participating in Couples/Family Therapy

Dosage Patients
120 min monthly 1
60 min weekly 2
50 min monthly 1
50 min weekly 1
60 min 1
monthly 1

Why patients stopped taking Couples/Family Therapy

Multiple reasons could be selected

Reason Patients
Other 27
Felt finished with this treatment 10
This particular therapist or program didn't seem to help 10
This type of therapy or counseling didn't seem to help 10
Expense 9
Found another therapist or program I preferred 5
No convenient appointments available 5
I didn't have enough time 3
Change in health plan coverage 1
Completed the number of sessions covered by my insurance 1
Doctor's advice 1
See all 47 patients who've stopped participating in Couples/Family Therapy

Duration

Currently participating in Couples/Family Therapy

Duration Patients
6 months - 1 year 1
1 - 2 years 2
2 - 5 years 2
10 years or more 3

Stopped participating in Couples/Family Therapy

Duration Patients
Less than 1 month 6
1 - 6 months 18
6 months - 1 year 9
1 - 2 years 10
2 - 5 years 4
5 - 10 years 2
10 years or more 1
Adherence
Adherence Evaluations
Always 18
Usually 15
Sometimes 4
Never taken as prescribed 3
Burden
Burden Evaluations
Very hard to take 7
Somewhat hard to take 15
A little hard to take 8
Not at all hard to take 10
Cost per month
Cost per month Evaluations
$200+ 7
$100-199 9
$50-99 4
$25-49 0
< $25 8
Not specified 12
Last updated:

4 patient evaluations for Couples/Family Therapy

May 31, 2011 (Started Apr 10, 2006)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (exposing our true feelings)
  • Adherence
    Never taken as prescribed
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 50 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: We tried quite a few couples therapists over the years but they just didn't work for us. Finally one of my old therapists realized how close we were to divorcing (mainly because of my depression, PTSD, and the length of my illness and severity of my condition that led to four suicide attempts) and recommended we see Jill before we did one more thing. She was amazing. Truly a gifted therapist and human being. We all pretty much thought our marriage was pretty hopeless but the fact that we were willing to commit to trying to see if there was any hope of salvaging and healing was enough for Jill to encourage us to come. Otherwise, if we hadn't of said, "Yes, we are committed to trying," she would have said, "I'm sorry. I just can't work with couples that are not committed." Five years later much has happened. I also found a new individual psychologist (thanks to Jill) so I was finally getting the help I needed individually, and in May of 2010, Laura, my therapist, saw how frustrated I was with all the bad psychiatrists I had had at Kaiser... that she called an old acquaintance who still worked there and it took nine months of haggling with Kaiser but I finally "was allowed" to see him and he got my meds straightened out for the first time in 10 years. So a lot has contributed to our marriage life improving but most of all, it's like Jill said: You have to be committed and work hard.
Cost: $100-199 monthly
Side effects: exposing our true feelings

Feb 24, 2011 (Started Apr 10, 2006)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (exposing our true feelings)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Very hard to take
Dosage: 50 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: Couples therapy with this therapist has been nothing short of miraculous. We were on the edge of despair, hopelessness, no communication and obviously divorce. This past five years has been a roller coaster ride all the way but we have all benefitted and learned from it. There is much less despair and hopelessness. Communication has improved but mostly because we have had to accept that we are two very different people who do not have anything in common in terms of how we problem solve, deal with stress, etc. When I say "accept" this is an ongoing process that is still very hard to adhere to. Now my husband wants us to stop therapy all together. I do not want to. I think we need this space to continue to figure out whether we can live as "room mates" or whether we have the strength and desire to be happier and go our separate ways. I think both of us wish there was still hope to re-kindle what we had physically when we met 36 years ago but there has been too much water under our bridge and it just isn't going to happen. So I shall report in a month or so to see if we will try to see this therapist once a month still. I think we (I) deserve at least that much.
Cost: $100-199 monthly
Side effects: exposing our true feelings

May 21, 2010 (Started Apr 10, 2006)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    Moderate (exposing our true feelings)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 50 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: Jill K. has literally helped us save our marriage. It's hard work and one has to really trust that it's worth the time and effort it takes not only in therapy but at home. Unexpected benefits is real life changes in our attitudes, understanding of ourselves, our relationship and how we affect each other, our history and how it affected us long term, etc. Our daily life now is so much more relaxed and we are able to deal much more effectively the big and little stresses and problems that arise in any marriage. And if there is something we feel we can't handle by ourselves we have learned to shelve it until we have therapy -- even if that means waiting three weeks.
Cost: $100-199 monthly
Side effects: exposing our true feelings

Aug 21, 2008 (Started Apr 10, 2006)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    Mild (exposing our true feelings)
  • Adherence
    Always
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 120 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: Good marriage counselors are hard to find so keep looking and don't give up. If one of the SO's are resistant to getting help I am not sure what to say other than if you know other couples who are in therapy then make sure your SO knows that. Often, people feel embarassed or that it's not "normal" to seek help for such personal problems. Being vulnerable with one's SO as well as a trained professional is not easy but it does get easier as time goes on and if the therapist is worth her weight in gold!
Cost: $200+ monthly
Side effects: exposing our true feelings

  • 1 helpful mark

Feb 2, 2010 (Started Dec 01, 2007)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Somewhat hard to take
Dosage: 120 min Monthly
Cost: $50-99 monthly

Aug 20, 2008 (Started Dec 01, 2007)

  • Effectiveness
    Major (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    None
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 120 min Monthly
Cost: $100-199 monthly

  • 0 helpful marks

Sep 18, 2009 (Started Jul 13, 2009)

  • Effectiveness
    None (for A long-term problem in the couple or family)
  • Side effects
    Severe (stress, despair, feelings of hopelessness)
  • Adherence
    Usually
  • Burden
    Not at all hard to take
Dosage: 60 min Monthly
Advice & Tips: Couples counseling only effective if both people actively participate with a genuine effort and open mind.
Cost: $200+ monthly
Side effects: stress, feelings of hopelessness, despair

  • 0 helpful marks
Last updated:
Showing 3 of 4 patient evaluations for Couples/Family Therapy