Family therapy offers strategies and activities derived from cognitive therapy, interpersonal therapy, behavior therapy, and other forms of therapy. Unlike other forms of treatment, the strategies utilized depend on the particular issues of the patient or patients.

Emotional or behavioral issues in children are typical reasons to consult a family counselor or therapist. Children’s issues don’t exist and do not affect anything or anyone. They exist, and they require attention and support from the family. It should be remembered that with family therapy, ‘family’ doesn’t always mean blood relations. Family can be anyone who supports, cares, and loves another even if they are not family members or living in the same home.

Here are the most commonly used forms of family therapy:

  • Structural. This type of therapy involves making adjustments and building strength within the family and ensuring that parents are managing the children and adults appropriately, including setting proper boundaries. Here, the family welcomes the therapist in their home to observe and know more about its members to improve their capacity to strengthen each other.


  • Systemic. This model involves the emphasis of unconscious communications and the purpose and meanings of each family member’s behavior. The therapist in this type of treatment is impartial and detached, enabling all family members to delve deeper into the problems and challenges that they are confronted with.


  • Bowenian. It is a type of family therapy most suitable for circumstances where family members are hesitant to include the rest of the members during treatment. The Bowenian therapy was developed from two main principles – triangulation, or the tendency to release one’s stress and anxiety by venting to another individual, and differentiation, or the process of learning to be less mentally and emotionally responsive to family relationships.



  • Strategic. A more brief type of therapy, strategic family therapy, is also more direct than the other types. The therapist delegates assignments to each family member for the purpose of changing the way the family interacts. He then evaluates the way the family members communicate and discusses their decisions. He also takes the position of authority in this form of therapy, which enables other members that do not typically hold the authority to communicate more efficiently.


For the therapist to effectively treat various family issues, he must:

  • Make proper observations of how individuals interact.
  • Assess and find solutions for relationship issues.
  • Make a diagnosis and treatment for mental illnesses within the family.
  • Help people in their journey towards transition, such as in death or divorce.
  • Efficiently help substitute an abnormal behavior into a healthy one.

For the family therapist to possess these skills and fulfill his role, he must get a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, social work, or sociology and then a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy.

Then the therapist will also be required to finish two years of work under supervision after he graduates. This would be a total of 2,000 to 4,000 hours of practice in the clinical setting. When these are met, the family therapist will most likely also need to submit and pass an exam specific to his state and complete yearly continuing education subjects.

Goals of Family Therapy

In essence, the primary objective of family therapy is to work with the family to help it heal from mental, psychological, or emotional difficulties that are destroying the entire family. To do this, the family therapist must help families improve the way they treat and talk to each other, how they solve their problems, and understand and deal with various situations that they may be confronted with every day.

The goals depend on the problems presented by the clients. For instance, they may differ depending on the following situations:

  • A family member is diagnosed with schizophrenia or psychosis. The goal here is to guide other members of the family so that they will learn to understand the nature of the disorder and be able to adapt to the psychological changes that the schizophrenic family member is going through.
  • Families that contradict social norms, such as gay and lesbian relationships, unmarried couples living together, etc.) The objective here is not often to give attention to particular internal issues. Still, the members might require help in dealing with external factors, such as the attitude of society.




  • Issues originating from cross-generational restrictions, like when parents live with grandparents, or children raised by their grandparents. The objective is to enhance communication and help each member create healthy boundaries.
  • Families who come from diverse cultural, religious, or racial backgrounds. The goal here is to aid families in understanding each other better and learn to build healthy family relationships.
  • The client’s problems are seemingly connected to problems with other members of the family. In circumstances where the problems are profoundly connected to problems with other members, the objective is to tackle each contributing concern and then resolve or reduce the effects of these problems to the entire family.
  • Blended families or stepfamilies. These types of families can be affected negatively by issues that are specific to their situation. For the blended family, the objective of family therapy is to improve comprehension and build good interactions between one another.





There was rarely a time in my life when I had not been punctual, except for when I forgot to change my alarm’s battery, causing it not to go off at all. In truth, I hated making someone wait for me, regardless of any situation. My reason was that no one forced me to agree to a meeting at a particular time, so I should have no excuse for not being at the rendezvous place on time. This way of thinking seemed to always work in my favor; that’s why I continued to do it.

However, I could not say the same thing for my younger sister. Ever since we were kids, she was the last to prepare for school every morning. Mom and Dad had to take turns waking her up and even needed to resort to shouting or banging doors to make that happen.

When I was in 9th grade, my sister entered the 7th grade. Our first classes took place at the same time – 8:30 A.M. – so we were supposed to be out of the house 30 minutes before that. Otherwise, we would miss the first school bus and need to wait for 15 more minutes for the second one to arrive.



Throughout that year, I could only count the number of times when my sister managed to ride the first bus with me using one hand. The girl could not get ready for school on time, no matter how many letters our parents got from her teachers, complaining about her tardiness. As it turned out, she often missed the first 10 minutes of the class, and the teachers were unhappy.

We all thought that this problem would end in 8th grade because my sister’s first period was at 9 A.M., but we were wrong. If anything, it got worse since she would often “take a nap” after breakfast once Mom had gone to work, and she was all by herself. This tardy routine continued even in college, much to our parents’ chagrin.

As for me, I made it my life’s work to understand my sister’s seemingly never-ending tardiness. I picked my best friend’s brain, who happened to be a budding psychologist years ago, to know more about it. Here’s what I learned.



Constant Lateness Could Be A Sign Of Mental Health Disorder

The main thing I understood was that tardiness could be a symptom of a mental health disorder. After all, it was one thing to be late because your car battery died, you got in an accident, or a loved one needed your help urgently. If someone was clearly making up excuses for their lateness and failing to make it seem believable, that’s not okay.

One of the significant mental health disorders that might cause tardiness was anxiety. Anxious people tend to stay in their heads for a long time without moving or taking any action, you see. They could spend hours thinking and not realize how much time they had lost. It would be incredible if the person were aware of what’s happening and why, but many people hadn’t realized it at all.

Constant lateness could also be a sign of impulse control disorder. If you think about it, a person could easily avoid getting up late by setting up multiple alarms around them. Considering you had been making a similar effort, but to no avail, it might be ideal to seek a mental health professional’s advice on the matter.



Furthermore, the lack of self-confidence might be the reason behind someone’s tardiness. For instance, if you snagged a job at a fast-paced company, and you still could not believe that you deserved the spot, you might often end up not living up to others’ expectations. You might see your reflection before work and start talking down about your abilities, to the extent that you already missed the time.

How To Stop Being Late

Consulting a psychologist regarding your tardiness might be the best course of action.

When I suggested that to my sister, I must admit that it didn’t gain positive reactions from her or our parents. They all had this belief that only mentally challenged people would do that. But after retelling the possible mental health causes of constant lateness, my sister finally agreed to professionally meet my best friend.

After a few appointments, it turned out that my sister had social anxiety. Although it seemed like she didn’t care about being on time, we became aware that her anxiety was making her tardy all these years. The psychologist prescribed one-on-one counseling to my sister, followed by immersion in crowded places whenever she felt ready.



Months later, my sister’s tardiness seemed to lessen little by little.

Bottom Line

Being always late does not mean that someone is a rebel who doesn’t care about rules. Most of the time, they do care. The only problem is that they have no idea how to change this habit.

Well, now that you’ve reached the bottom of this article, you cannot use the same excuse anymore. Let your brain soak in the information above and ask for mental help if you need it. Good luck!