9 Family therapy activities for relationship building

The blogspot will be based on various activities that can be included as a part of fami;y therapy to build positive relationships between members of the family. It will be elaborating the various therapeutic techniques for enhancing relationships among the family members.

Effective family therapy activities for relationship building

The family therapy activities for relationship building are :

  • Family Tree

The family tree activity in family therapy is used to build relationships among the family members. It is a tree diagram based on the nature and hierarchy of relationships between the family members. It is a conventional way to represent family relationships.

  • Genogram

 A genogram is a detailed family therapy activity. It is a classification of family relationships based on the nature of bonding among the family members. Each member’s relationships to the other member are classified based on the feelings both the member’s have for eachother. Different colors and different symbols are used to connect the family members that have a good bonding with each other from the rest of the members.

  • Draw My Family

The draw my family activity is basically utilized by the therapists to gain insight about the bonding that the members of the family have with each other. All the members of the family are instructed to draw their family and place the members according to the quality of relationship that the particular member of the family has with the rest of the family members. The pictures are then analysed and interpreted by the therapist to conclude meaningful insight for the family members.

  • Animal Identification

The animal identification activity elaborates the relationship dynamics of members of the family with each other. The therapist instructs the members of the family to pick up an animal that represents them based on their potential strengths and weaknesses of the personality. Similarly each member is asked to pick up an animal for all the rest of the family members based on the perception of their strengths that help them fulfil their role in the family and weaknesses that  hinder their participation in the family role. The therapist then facilitates the members of the family to understand their failings in fulfilling the family role and provides psychoeducation to them about their possible behavioral modification for strengthening of relationships among the members of the family.

  • Guided Imagery 

The guided imagery technique is used in family therapy to restore the family relationships in a functional manner.the therapist aids the family members in restoring trust and building relationships by imagining good family times and the hard times through which the family was able to swift smooth due to strong bonding with each other. The family members discuss the imagination process at the end of the activity and are better able to relate to each other’s experiences.

  • Strategic Alliance

The strategic alliance is assessing a single behavior for targeted action in one of the family members that can help to build a strong bonding with other members of the family. After highlighting the behavior, the family member is individually met to institute a behavioral change that will affect the whole family positively. The one family member could be the head of the family or someone with a great influence over the family. Bringing change in one member of the family will bring a positive change in the relationships with other family members through ripple effect.

  • Chinese Whispers

The chinese whisper activity is a great tool in family therapy for building active listening and responding skills among members of the family that in turn foster positive relationships. The therapist makes all family members stand in a line. The therapist says a sentence or a word to the first or last family member in the line who then communicates the same to another member in the ear so that others can not hear it. At the end, the last person says aloud whatever is communicated to that person from the person behind.

  • Feelings Jenga

The feelings jegna is a family therapy activity where each block in a  jenga is associated to 

  • Things we like in a family
  • Things we do not like in a family
  • Things we appreciate about our family 
  • Things we wish for our family

Hence while playing jenga the family members tend to discuss and explore various family dynamics together through feelings jenga.

  • Feelings Charades

The feelings charade game is played in family therapy to help improve the understanding and bonding among the family members  through nonverbal communication. Each member of the family tends to mimic other members’ qualities and the rest of the family members have to guess the family member being mimicked about. It is a fun activity that enhances relationship building through nonverbal communication among family members.

  • Blindfold Obstacles game

In blind fold obstacle the therapist introduces an obstacle oriented task in which one member has to get blindfolded and reach the goal across the obstacle by following the hints and cues being given by the other family members. This activity is a way to enhance feelings of mutual trust among the family members.

  • Recipe of a functional family with colored sand and containers

The members of the family are given colored sand. Each colored sand represents a component that is necessary to promote functional relationships among the family members. In an empty container, the family members tend to mix the sand in ratios that each one of them thinks is necessary for functional relationships among the family members. The containers are at the end analysed and the therapist compares and contrasts the various recipes of the functional family gathered.


The current blogspot identified and elaborated the various techniques that are implemented during the course of family therapy for building relationships among the family members. We learned that family relationships can be strengthened through various  activities including play activities, nonverbal activity games and discussions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Family therapy activities for building relationships

What is the difference between family therapy and individual therapy?

Family therapy is focused on the well-being of all the family members and resolving any conflicts to overcome the failings that may prove to be a hindrance in optimal functioning of a family. Individual therapy in contrast is related to therapeutically addressing the emotional anxieties and resolving life conflicts within one person only.

What activities are used in family therapy for strengthening relationships?

The activities used within family therapy for improving relationships include:
Play and art therapy techniques
Focus group sessions
Nonverbal communication activities
Active listening and responding activities

How to structure a family therapy session?

The family therapy is structured by
Setting a mutual goal to work towards
Strengthening trust 
Clarity of roles for each member of the family
Conducting family activities to strengthen relationships 




A Workbook of Activities Designed to Strengthen Family Relationships

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