AdultsCouplesMegan HerelleParents

How to Find a Great Family Therapist

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Families are core to who we are. They are often the essential building blocks of our personality, patterns, and values. Regardless of size or make-up, all families face challenges. Ultimately, if left untreated, you might find that these challenges start to grow and impact the relationships within your family unit. This is where family therapy comes in. Attending therapy with your family can help you navigate conflict, heal visible and invisible hurts, and deepen your understanding of each other.

Identifying Your Needs

A family smiles while sitting with each other on the couch. Learn how a family therapist in Branchburg, NJ can offer support with addressing family concerns. Contact a group therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ to learn more about Scotch Plains therapy and other services.Let’s dive into the process of starting family therapy! First, it might be helpful to identify what your family’s needs are. Understanding the patterns and behaviors you are noticing in your family can help you narrow down your search for a therapist search.

To begin, take some time to sit with the following questions:

  • What are some points of disagreement within your family?
  • Which family members does the conflict involve?
  • Which family members should the conflict involve that it may not currently?
  • How can you benefit individually from family counseling?
  • How would you know counseling was working for your family?
  • Would all your family members be willing to participate in counseling?

Common reasons families seek out family counseling include:

  • To help navigate life transitions that impact all family members like a recent death in the family, a move, processing divorce, beginning the process of blending families, or a new medical diagnosis
  • To reflect on each individual’s role in the family and develop ways to work together. A family therapist can help define and secure boundaries, while also allowing everyone to speak their truth!
  • To reflect on consistent areas of conflict and help the family problem solve. Oftentimes, a neutral third party can help find a way through disagreements. This leaves each family member feeling heard.

How to Find a Family Therapist

Understanding Credentials

There are many different types of therapists that provide family therapy. Often you might see family therapists credentialed as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) or Licensed Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (LAMFT). Other titles you might see online include Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), or Psychologist (PhD or PsyD). Any of these professionals can provide counseling services. However, some therapists have special areas of focus, including families, couples, and children

When making a choice between a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and an individual’s clinician, consider the differences in the approaches used in counseling. Marriage and Family therapists believe that you are best understood by looking at your family unit. They believe they cannot fully understand a person until they understand their background. For better or for worse, you and your family are a unit. Your decisions and behaviors impact each other. 

Experience Counts

Family therapists see all kinds of families and understand that they are each unique and complex in their own ways. Therapists who have experience working with families know that it is an honor to be welcomed in as a third party. They get to learn about conflicts and complications in your family dynamic. Additionally, they are ready to dig in with you and help each member of your family feel heard.  

A great family therapist will have experience working with different types of families.  This may include traditional family units, parent-child or parent-adult-child dyads, extended families, blended families, chosen families, and multi-generational households.  Indeed, the possibilities of one’s family make-up are endless.  Family therapists are also expected to have extensive knowledge of cultural differences within families. Their role is not to scrutinize how your family works. Rather, the family counselor is tasked with the job of assisting your family in identifying what doesn’t work.  Then, they help the family to reach the goals identified.

Where to look for a Family Counselor

Ask Trusted Friends for Recommendations 

It never hurts to ask around. Therapy isn’t as taboo as it used to be. Feel free to ask trusted friends, neighbors, or colleagues if they happen to know a therapist. If a therapist is being recommended by someone you trust, you might enjoy working with that therapist as well!

A couple sit together while typing on a laptop. This could represent the search for the right family therapist in Branchburg, NJ. Learn more about online therapy in New Jersey and the help a group therapist in Scotch Plains, NJ can offer. Search Online

Additionally, looking online for family therapy is also a good start. Browse different therapist’s websites and ensure that they mention their experience working with families.

Ask Your Other Resources

Healthcare providers, psychiatrists, individual counselors, school systems, and even dietitians may know family therapists in your area. Many of them provide referrals to adults and children for a variety of reasons. As a result, they build relationships with other professionals in the community, including family therapists they trust. Remember that these professionals provide referrals all the time, so you have nothing to be ashamed of.

Online Directories

Don’t forget that you can always search on your own with the help of online directories. A quick Google search can pull up a variety of websites dedicated to helping you find a therapist. Alternatively, online directories such as Psychology Today are often more helpful than a Google search. Online directories allow you to filter by specialty, location, and other needs or preferences.

One Last Tip: Ask for a Phone Consultation

Most therapists offer 15-20 minute phone consultations for free. Phone consultations provide a chance to connect with the therapist and decide if they are a good fit for your family. Feel free to ask them the following questions, or create your own:

  • What…
    • can we expect from family therapy?
    • experience do you have working with families?
    • do you enjoy about family therapy?
    • do theories inform how you practice?

Finding a family therapist is a unique process. You are looking for someone who can connect with multiple members of your family. Take your time to really assess the right fit for you and your family. Once you have connected, lean in! Family counseling is a powerful tool for resolving conflicts, improving communication, and ultimately empowering your family to function as a team.

Begin Working With a Family Therapist in Scotch Plains or Branchburg, NJ

A woman holding a clipboard getstures with her hand while sitting and talking to a couple. This could represent the support offered from a family therapist in Branchburg, NJ to address family issues. Learn how online therapy in New Jersey can offer support by seaching for therapy branchburg, nj today.Knowing what types of conflicts you have in your family, who is involved, and where they come from, can help bring your family together. Our caring therapists would be happy to help inform you about the many ways your relationships within your family unit may benefit from family therapy. We offer support from our Scotch Plains and Branchburg, NJ-based practices. To start your therapy journey, please follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact Brave Minds Psychological Services
  2. Meet with a caring therapist 
  3. Start improving your relationship

Other Services Offered at Brave Minds Psychological Services

Family Therapy isn’t the only service provided at our Scotch Plains and Branchburg, NJ-based therapy practices. Other services offered include parenting counseling, couples counseling, counseling for teensonline therapytrauma therapyanxiety treatment for childrenchild sexual abuse therapyanxiety treatment for teens. We also offer teen social phobia therapyadult anxiety counselingcounseling for parentspostpartum counselingbirth trauma therapysexual assault counseling for adults, and food allergy therapy.


therapist Megan Herelle LAMFT