Importance And Benefits Of Family Therapy

While I do agree that Dr. Phil’s show is an overall fraud, in the episode I watched he did apply interventions that made sense and are widely used today. Based off of the main issues that was talked about during the episode, mainly the loss of a husband and father, an absent mother, and two young boys with possible mental as well as psychological issues going on, Dr. Phil recommended family therapy as well as getting the two young boys tested in order to properly diagnose them as well as provide them with the appropriate interventions and resources.

In my opinion, I believe that Dr. Phil made the right call for both interventions. Therapy is still used today in most psychologists and counselors practices. The reason it is popular and still used frequently is because it works and shows benefits of those undergoing the therapy. There is individual therapy, group therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, play therapy, etc. the list goes on because therapy has been proven to work.

The reason why there are so many therapies is because not everyone is the same and not everyone experiences events or issues the same way so one therapy that works for someone may not necessarily work the same for another person. Based off of this families history they are experiencing the loss of a family member causing grief, then the mother does not want to face reality and checks out herself not being around or available to her kids leaving her 14 year old daughter at the time to care for her two troubled step brothers who are not only aggressive and violent but may also have deeper psychological issues going on.

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I believe this family is beyond destroyed and can benefit greatly from family therapy if they take it seriously and attend all their sessions.

My understanding of any type of therapy is where the client is able to fully express their thoughts, fears, concerns, experiences and overall emotions in a judgement free environment. Based on the situation the therapist will be able to help their client break down the problem/issue, understand why they may be feeling or acting in certain ways and develop some type of treatment plan to help the client. Family therapy is scientific evidence based and I think this will let this particular troubled family from the show get out their grief, emotions, and frustrations in a healthy way with a professional therapist and psychologist to guide them. When families are constantly fighting or having problems, many times family member tend to focus on the negative aspects only and therefore this leads to the continued negative behaviors with no improvement (Tuerk, McCart & Henggeler, 2012). Therapists can help family members with reframing where the therapist will try to get the family member to understand where the other family member is coming from in a more positive way (Tuerk, McCart & Henggeler, 2012).

This occurs in three stages which are validation of feelings, alternative perspectives and assessment of the reframe (Tuerk, McCart & Henggeler, 2012). I believe remodeling will be beneficial for this particular family in order for each family member to understand each other’s emotions towards the loss of a family member and how it affected them each differently causing them to act out in different ways. It is a great opportunity for them to understand each other’s perspectives better. During family therapy, therapists also focus on prioritizing the family’s goals (Tuerk, McCart & Henggeler, 2012). Each family member can express the target outcome they would like and how to get there. The more the therapist involves each family member the more they likely to help create and participate in the implementation of the interventions (Tuerk, McCart & Henggeler, 2012). Mental health issues among children and adolescents are a big problem in today’s society and it is important how families recognize and approach it (Jiménez, Hidalgo, Baena, León & Lorence, 2019). If it is not approached in the right way it may cause children or adolescents to react in a more negative and sometimes worse way (Jiménez, Hidalgo, Baena, León & Lorence, 2019). Many articles have shown that family therapy has a great impact by decreasing any internalizing and externalizing symptoms of adolescents and improve the overall family functioning which was a factor in this case of the family on Dr. Phil (Jiménez, Hidalgo, Baena, León & Lorence, 2019).

The next intervention was to get the two boys tested because they were adopted at a young age and the mother does not know the history of their biological family. There could be genetic factors to take into account and look as well as environmental factors. One of the guest doctors on the show suggested that the boys may have been exposed to drugs in utero which also needs to be looked at and ruled out with further tests. These boys are now older at the higher elementary level, which means if there is anything wrong genetically, or psychologically or mentally it could make things a lot more complicated for the boys. They are past the most critical time period as young boys at ages 2-4, where if anything was detected and treated at that point and time the outcome may have been different. I also think these boys may have had less trouble in school. I also think one of the reasons these boys are so aggressive and violent is because they are frustrated with themselves knowing and seeing they are different from most of the other children at school.

Testing students and providing them with the appropriate resources they need is detrimental to their overall development and it is important for success. Testing, assessing and placing or providing students with resources based off their needs is effective and evidence based too. Different tests and measures are used to interpret various types of scores (Halperin & McKay, 1998). Psychological tests are used to look at numerous things such as intelligence, academic achievement, and personality which are all important to the success and functioning of students (Halperin & McKay, 1998). There are many different and reliable resources that can be used for testing student’s intellectual and academic functioning (Halperin & McKay, 1998). It is important to remember, not all tests will work the same for each child and one must pick the best testing instrument or tool that is best fir to the child to get reliable and valid results since all children are different. It is important to make sure you pick the best one because the test data is then used for developing a treatment plan and intervention if needed, that suits the patient’s cognitive and emotional needs best (Halperin & McKay, 1998). Therefore, I think it is most important to get the boys tested as soon as possible in order to get a clear diagnose and provide them with the necessary intervention, resources and any other additional therapies they may need. A clear, proper concise plan can help change and improve the boy’s outbursts of violent behavior towards their family as well as classmates. 

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Importance And Benefits Of Family Therapy. (2022, Jul 15). Retrieved from

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