A myriad of relational problems can draw individuals to couples and family therapy. Most often chronic conflict plagues the relationship, as can a family member’s emotional pain or substance abuse problem or the experience of loss. Sometimes treatment is sought for personal growth reasons: to increase intimacy, improve communication, or prepare for marriage.
Just as in intrapsychic conflict within the individual, many interpersonal conflicts can be traced to distorted views of self and other. A family’s capacity for cooperation and communication can be impaired by such images that are typically projected onto their relationships. Sometimes past trauma and grievances also require working through. Regardless of the initial problem, couples and family therapy seeks to increase self awareness, improve communication, and achieve greater intimacy.