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Pros and Cons of Entire Family Attending Initial Consultation

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Effectiveness of any particular family therapy process depends on the strategies employed by an individual therapist. Some therapists may prefer tackling problems by engaging with individual family members in seclusion only or involve group later. Others may prefer working with the whole family as a group. There is no best and standard way of engaging with family members in resolving family issues, but each strategy works best for varied situations depending on a therapist’s view. In the same manner, some therapists may insist that the whole family attends an initial consultation, while others may avoid such strategies. There are particular advantages and disadvantages of insisting on the presence of the entire family in the initial consultation.
According to Nichols (2013), one of the advantages of insisting on the presence of the entire family in the initial consultation relates to the fact that such meetings can provide a counselor with preliminary information and facts concerning the nature of the family relationship. Counselors can use the preliminary information gathered to understand the depth of the problem and perhaps develop a hypothesis as to the likely cause(s) of the problem experienced. This is usually possible when all members find an opportunity to talk and share their views about the nature of the family relationship. With such a hypothesis, a therapist is able to estimate the period within which to accomplish therapy. Insisting on the presence of the entire family in initial consultation can also enable a therapist to learn emotions of individual members and strategize proper techniques to reinforce proper behaviors during actual therapy to ensure effective treatment process.