EXPERIMENTAL FAMILY THERAPY
Experimentalfamily therapy refers to a therapeutic intervention that functions byestablishing a positive relationship between therapists and theclient whereby various activities are employed to evoke emotions frompast experiences to aid in behavior change. Consumption of alcoholand other substance affects the peaceful coexistence of the basicunit of the society leading to the development of stress among familymembers. Notably, family members experience abandonment, fear, anger,and anxiety when parents indulge in alcoholism which makes them trycutting ties and may have adverse effects on children as parentsabandon their parenting duties (Goldenberg & Goldenberg, 2013).
Experimentalfamily therapy is significant as it improves self-awareness therebyhelping family members make better choices in their lives and acquirepositive behaviors that change their lifestyles. As a matter of fact,therapists aid family members in developing their self-esteem therebyenabling them to communicate with each other openly. Additionally,therapists help the alcoholic parent become more genuine byeliminating secrets and the act of defensiveness when interactingwith other family members.
Subsequently,various therapeutic mechanisms are employed in the bid to causebehavior change on an alcoholic parent which includes artistictherapy, recreation therapy, and psychodrama and adventure therapies. First, recreation therapy entails the use of sports duringtherapeutic process while artistic therapy involves the use of arts,writing, photography, and music in therapeutic development. On theother hand, psychodrama helps in capturing past experiences throughrole play to aid the alcoholic parent to develop new mechanisms forhandling situations that have been ailing them while adventuretherapy is imperative in boosting the parent’s confidence throughencountering situations that strengthen their ability to respond toemotional experiences.
However,various safety considerations ought to be made before implementationof the experimental family therapy to ensure its acceptance by allfamily members thus limiting conflicts. Therapists should engage allthe family members in decision making and provide a conduciveenvironment for conducting sessions with the necessary support forthe alcoholic parent. Finally, therapists ought to investigate casesof child abuse before initiating therapy since such instances arepunishable under the law (Metcalf, 2011).
Inconclusion, the skills possessed by the therapist coupled with theirability to develop alliances with the alcoholic parent significantlyinfluence the outcome of the therapeutic process. Therefore, skilledand highly knowledgeable therapists realize positive results leadingto a behavioral change in an alcoholic parent after an experimentalfamily therapy.
Goldenberg,H. & Goldenberg I. (2013). Family therapy: An overview, 8th ed.Belmont, CA: Thomson-Brooks Cole
Metcalf,L. (2011). Marriageand family therapy: A practice-oriented approach.New York: Springer Pub. Co.