What Is a Family Therapy Clinic?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis
A family therapist can help couples and entire families deal work through emotional issues.
A family therapist can help couples and entire families deal work through emotional issues.

A family therapy clinic is an organization or practice that provides counseling, mental health, and educational services to families and couples. Often run by universities and community outreach programs, family therapy clinics may be flexible on fees in order to serve a broad range of clients. A family therapy clinic may provide many different services, including group therapy, individual counseling, seminars, educational programs, and retreats. Most clinics are equipped to deal with a wide variety of family concerns, from internal relationship trouble to dealing with a severe illness in the family.

Partners who struggle to communicate may find help in family therapy.
Partners who struggle to communicate may find help in family therapy.

The services available at a family therapy clinic may vary widely. Some focus on therapy sessions, which allow each individual, or each family, to sit down with a licensed counselor to discuss their issues and formulate strategies for improvement. Group therapy sessions may bring together couples or families with similar issues, so that concerns may be discussed in a supportive and sympathetic atmosphere. A family therapy clinic might also offer a variety of enrichment and educational programs for families, including special seminars on specific topics, or even therapeutic retreats.

Pre-marital counseling is a way for couples to make sure that they are ready for marriage.
Pre-marital counseling is a way for couples to make sure that they are ready for marriage.

Family clinics may partner also with family courts, providing court-ordered therapy and mandated classes for parents or children. By providing an experienced, professional staff, a therapy clinic can help families deal with difficult or tragic situations that have lead to court involvement. In this capacity, therapy clinics and counselors must work closely with the court to provide regular progress reports and assessments that detail a family's progress through treatment.

Couples with issues may benefit from seeing a counselor at a family therapy clinic.
Couples with issues may benefit from seeing a counselor at a family therapy clinic.

The professionals at a family therapy clinic are often prepared to handle a wide range of concerns and conditions. Some of the issues commonly handled in family therapy include marital infidelity or disagreements, fighting between parents and children, or problems between siblings. Family therapy can also assist with management of a physical or mental illness, or provide support and coping strategies in the case of drug or alcohol addiction. Families facing divorce, remarriage, or custody issues may also benefit from the services of a family therapy clinic.

One of the great benefits to many family therapy clinics is that they are designed to be accessible to the public. This means that many operate on a sliding scale fee system, which bases the cost of the service on the income of the family. Some clinics also offer fee waivers to families in financial distress. Offering financial assistance or sliding scale payments can allow a family therapy clinic to help families that might not otherwise be able to afford counseling, and can help serve the community at large.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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    • A family therapist can help couples and entire families deal work through emotional issues.
      A family therapist can help couples and entire families deal work through emotional issues.
    • Partners who struggle to communicate may find help in family therapy.
      Partners who struggle to communicate may find help in family therapy.
    • Pre-marital counseling is a way for couples to make sure that they are ready for marriage.
      Pre-marital counseling is a way for couples to make sure that they are ready for marriage.
    • Couples with issues may benefit from seeing a counselor at a family therapy clinic.
      Couples with issues may benefit from seeing a counselor at a family therapy clinic.