Multi family group therapy is a conjoined treatment modality that combines the key essences of group therapy and family therapy to address the social element of mental illness and well-being, in addition to providing yet another set for individuals to seek mental healthcare, especially if other forms of therapy are less than effective for them.
Multi family group therapy is used more often in the treatment of eating disorders and illnesses on the schizophrenic spectrum but can also be adapted for use in the treatment of depression, anxiety disorders, and other conditions.
At Amend Treatment, we enlist the help of an individual’s loved ones to participate in their treatment, offer long-term support, gain a much greater understanding of the risks and treatment factors of certain mental illnesses, and help families create a more supportive environment at home and in the community at large, through outreach programs, support groups, out-of-treatment activities, and more.
Multi family group therapy sessions encourage people to play a greater role in their loved one’s treatment and become more aware of the importance of familial and social support in a person’s well-being.
What Is Multi Family Group Therapy?
As the name implies, multi family group therapy is a form of group therapy involving multiple families; during a multi family group therapy session, families share a room together with a single therapist or team of specialists.
Multi family group therapy activities may differ from specialist to specialist, and from clinic to clinic, but will generally center around psychoeducation and individual interventions – going in rounds to share experiences and reflect on the past, talk about current and future anxieties, or share tips on management of symptoms and specific coping mechanisms.
Each family belongs to a different individual in treatment, and multi-family group therapy aims to utilize complex family dynamics, community involvement, and social interactivity as elements in a mental health treatment plan.
Inclusion is a keyword in multi family group therapy.
In individual talk therapy, an individual and their therapist stand alone in contrast to one’s family, community, and the norms of the outside world. Therapy becomes a safe space to discuss and learn more about mental health issues without the prejudices and worries that permeate existing within the rest of the world.
In group therapy, individuals become peers and learn that they are not alone in their struggles. They begin to forge bonds with people who have had similar experiences but retain their own unique perspectives. However, they remain isolated from their community and loved ones.
In family therapy, individuals can learn to open up among their loved ones and provide their family members with the chance to better understand who they are, and what they are going through. But that family unit remains isolated from the rest of society – while gaining a better understanding of mental health issues at home, that knowledge does not provide a sense of comfort or safety for life outside.
Multi family group therapy finally aims to overcome that final barrier and provide a safe space and treatment setting that incorporates an individual’s peers in treatment, their family members, and other people’s families – i.e., the community at large, or society in general.
The simple idea behind multi family group therapy is to eliminate or minimize the distinction between treatment and the rest of the world – to help individuals carry the lessons of therapy into their day-to-day lives outside of the clinic, and to feel less lonely, not just as members of a group, but as members of a more accepting and understanding society.
Through multi family group therapy, individuals begin to trust that those around them can and would be more accepting of them, if they learned more about mental health issues – not just their peers, not just people with similar experiences, and not just immediate family members, but total strangers as well.
What Do Multi Family Group Therapy Activities Look Like?
Multi family group therapy activities might involve individual interventions, long-form psychoeducation (in a classroom setting), group activities, and more. Some activities that are also utilized in family therapy – such as tracking, going on long walks together, or passing a ball to talk about current anxieties and worries – may be used as methods to communicate during treatment sessions.
Different specialists may utilize different formats or methods to communicate with families in a group setting, but the key elements of most multi-family group therapy sessions include:
- Relating relevant experiences and discussing different emotional states.
- Learning more about everyone’s diagnoses and how they are treated.
- Learning about risk factors and protective factors; understanding the role family plays in both exacerbating symptoms and helping treat them.
- Scheduling crucial follow-up sessions, especially for families who have completed treatment, to talk to families still in the beginning or middle stages of early recovery.
- Sharing resources and helpful information for long-term coping and stress management.
- Ensuring that individuals in treatment go home with the feeling that they have a place at home, in their community, and in society in general.
The Importance of Support in Long-Term Care
Multi family group therapy can play an important part in an individual’s healing journey here at Amend Treatment. Breaking down the barriers between therapy and day-to-day life helps people integrate the lessons learned during treatment into their daily routine, with the support and understanding of their closest loved ones, friends, and even other community members.
We want to emphasize that treatment at a facility – such as ours – is often only the first leg in a life-long journey dedicated to the betterment and a commitment to mental well-being.
Our multi-family group therapy plans help facilitate this message through a multi-generational, multi-individual, and community-based treatment modality – one where people from incredibly different perspectives and circumstances come together to aid their respective loved ones and become more understanding towards modern mental health issues, how often they affect people, and what truly works to help them.
We must take steps to move past the prejudice and stigma that people with mental health issues still face today and recognize the risk for mental health problems in every family – as well as the immense potential families have to minimize and protect against that risk and offer long-term support in the treatment of existing mental health problems. Things like depression and schizophrenia are not just treated in a therapist’s office, but at home and out in public life, every day, day after day. Learn more about the benefits of multi family group therapy by contacting us today!