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Minisode 8 | June 28, 2022

What to Expect from Family Therapy

In our eighth minisode in a series about accessing and normalizing therapy, we discuss what to expect and how to find family therapy.


Welcome to “That’s a Hard No” – the podcast about saying no and setting boundaries so you can become the authentic and empowered you that this world needs.

Reminder: While Sarah is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, this podcast is in no way replacement for one-on-one therapy with a mental health professionalIf you are struggling with mental health issues, we welcome you on this journey, but also invite you to seek out professional help.

Looking for a therapist? Here’s a good place to start:


In season 2 of That’s a Hard No, we’re making it a priority to dig deeper into the process of finding and utilizing the mental health support you may need. We’re taking some time to discuss with our “in-house expert,” Sarah Saunders, what to expect from therapy and all of its intricacies.  

What is Family Therapy?
  • Psychotherapy for Family Members – The goal is to improve communication and resolve conflicts.
  • Generally Short Term – This form of therapy is often used after a sort of trauma, around a family members mental health status or shorter term issues.
  • Leave with Tools – The intention of family therapy is to provide family units tools to utilize after therapy has ended.

“Family therapy sessions will teach skills to deepen family connections, offer more understanding and help family members really be able to better navigate difficult times even after the therapy is over. That’s a really big key.”

What to Expect from Family Therapy
  • Third Party Perspective – Family dynamics (blended families/coparenting, especially) can be complicated. Family therapy offers an outside perspective to have challenging conversations.
  • Removal of Blame – Family therapy provides insights to issues without placing blame on other members.
  • Understanding of One Another – This is the most important takeaway. Family therapists main goal is to help members better understand and communicate with each other.

“What you expect going in is that the therapist is going to examine your family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions in a productive manner.”

Ways to Prepare/Sourcing
  • Sourcing – Ask PCP or people you trust for recommendations or referrals.
    • What to ask/look for:
      • State licensure
      • AAMFT accreditation
      • Experience with your specific needs
      • Specialty training
  • What to Know 
    • Location/Availability
    • Cancellation Policy
    • Emergency Options
    • Cadance and length of sessions
    • Cost
  • What Will Happen
    • Determine goal
    • Therapist will examine family
      • Ability to problem solve
      • Express thoughts and emotions and a productive manner
      • Family rules, roles and patterns of behavior
      • Strengths and weaknesses
Read Full Transcript Here
Credits and Thanks