Family Therapy Activities for Telehealth

The current blogspot will be based on the question “what are the different therapy activities for family therapy in telehealth. It will be based on the various interventions and techniques that can be utilized by telehealth therapists during the telehealth sessions of families.

Activities for family therapy in telehealth

The following activities can be used by telehealth therapists while working with families :

  • Guided imagery

Guided imagery technique in family therapy is used for relaxing or calming the client at the start of the session or after discussing an emotionally distressing event in life. All the members of the family are instructed to imagine themselves standing at a place with a balloon in their hands and look around for people. They are then instructed to leave the balloon and keep following the balloon till the balloon takes them to a safe place. After 5 -10 minutes of imagination, the family members are told to open their eyes and silently draw the safe place their balloon took them to. They are also instructed to draw and color everything around them at that safe place. The members of the family are then made to discuss their drawings and explore their feelings associated with the drawing. 

  • Pick a miniature

The family members are instructed to collect miniatures from the home that best describe them and the other family members. In this way several hard and soft objects would be collected by every family member that depict their roles in the family. Each of the members then has to describe how a certain miniature describes a person, what qualities of that object are inline with the attitude of that person, the strength and weaknesses of the object that denote the strength and weaknesses of the respective person.

  • Genogram

A genogram is used to understand the dynamics of the family members in terms of intergenerational changes in familial attitudes. It is a great way to assess the family for any impacts from their ancestors. It also elaborates on the reactions of family members in response to any distressing event like divorce, death, transfers, birth of a child and immigrations. Alongside, a genogram also elaborates on the emotional bonding and affiliation among the members of family. Different colors can be used to represent the nature of relationships with negative and positive feelings like trust, love, care, respect,  and envy.

  • Knowing your stones, knowing your play dough

The activity of knowing your stones and knowing your play dough can be used by a telehealth practitioner to develop insight among the family members about the various situations/phases in life that can be controlled versus the various scenarios that cannot be controlled. The therapist instructs every member of the family to have a stone in their hands and says “hold the rock in your hand, squeeze the rock as hard as you can, try to bend the rock if you can? Roll the rock between your hands, are you able to change the rock?

Next the teletherapist instructs members of the family to have a play-dough in their hands and instructs “have your play-dough in your hands, try to squeeze as hard as you can,bend and roll it between your hands, are you able to change the play-dough?”

The teletherapist then ascertains that in life there are many moments that leave the family unit feeling uncertain, worried or anxious. Under any of such situations, each one of us has to consider our rocks and our play-doughs. 

The rock is hard and it can not be changed. It is any factor that can not be controlled in any possible  way. Whereas the play-dough is soft and has the ability to be changed into any other shape. Thus play-dough represents those factors that are under our control in any given situation. 

Thus all the family members, jot down the play-doughs that can be managed to bring about a change towards the therapeutic goal. 

  • Scavenger hunt board

Each member of the family is directed to think of one positive and one negative feeling about other members of the family and keep it to themselves. They are then instructed by the telehealth therapist to move about and search for different objects in the house that represent the feelings of all the members of the family.

After all family members have collected items for each other, the items are one by one shown to the family and the rest of the family members guess what item represents which quality of which family member. 

  • Simone says activity

The simone says activity can be used in family therapy sessions by teletherapist. Through this activity the activity is a good energizer for teletherapy sessions for all the family members. I=the directions given by the teletherapist could range from hypoactive messages like lie down, sit down, stand like a flamingo, and close eyes  to deep breath to various hyperactive commands like jump five times, tke a frog leap, scream, raise arms and clap.

Through the simone says activity, the responding skills to external commands as a family unit are nurtured. 

  • Structural mapping

The structural mapping of a family is a family therapy technique used by tele therapists to understand the structural dynamics among the family members. It is called a family floor plan in other words. It has its focus on the boundaries within the family members. The interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics of family members are highlighted through this activity.

  • Tracking

The tracking of important events through a timeline is another important activity for tele therapists dealing with family therapy. Members of the family are directed to share their records of various life events. The teletherapist actively listens and responds to the content by each member of the family and maintains a record of the sequence of events as described by each member of the family. 

The teletherapist then analyzes and processes the shared information to interpret for any behavioral change that is necessary to be brought about. 

  • Directives

Directives technique in family therapy through telehealth sessions allows a teletherapist to direct a family to perform a certain behavior after thoroughly analyzing the behavior patterns of the family. The directives technique is of immense importance to bring about a change in family behavior and modify problematic interactions in the family.

  • Role playing

Role playing or enacting a situation is a family therapy activity that can be used by tele therapists to understand the reactions of family members related to various scenarios. It can also be utilized to help understand the consequences of different reactions of members of a family and develop insight among them for the modification through new interventions.

  • Circular questioning

Circular questioning technique is used by tele therapists during the course of family therapy, instead of understanding family interactions through straight questions like how a certain action of person A affects the life of person B, the circular question tends to highlight the importance of interactions among various family members.

  • Reshaping conflictful behaviors

Reshaping conflicted behaviors among family members is the core of family therapy. A teletherapist can utilize the reshaping family behavior activity to strengthen the bond between members of the family through conflict resolution. A teletherapist can thus aid members of the family to develop an insight about the positive aspect of each other and minimize highlighting the negative aspects of each other.

  • The Family meeting

Family meetings can be described as a meet greet address and resolve opportunity for members of the family. A teletherapist can use family meetings with a core focus for seeking a solution to a possible problem area or to integrate well the family members upon any area of concern. The family meeting is a non-judgmental meeting place of all family members that is being facilitated by the teletherapist.the ultimate goals of family meetings are enhanced communication and problem solving.

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Conclusion

The current blogspot discussed the goals and outcomes of various activities that can be used during family therapy sessions by a teletherapist. It has discussed various activities that can be used to strengthen the family bond, to overcome family conflicts and to modify a family approach towards a specific disturbing factor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Family therapy activities for telehealth

What are some of the techniques used in family therapy?

Some of the techniques effectively used in family therapy are :

What are the three goals of family therapy?

The three main goals of family therapy are:

  • Effective communication
  • Problem solving
  • Growing towards a functional family unit

How do you engage a family in family therapy?

Following are some of the necessary steps to involve family in a therapy:

  • Build a strong rapport with the family
  • Establish a therapeutic alliance
  • Be mentally present during the session
  • Actively listen and respond to the client’s verbatim
  • Avoid being judgemental
  • Work towards a mutually established goal
  • Respect family values

Citations:

https://www.meehanmentalhealth.com/the-playful-therapist-blog/telemental-health-and-children-20-free-minimal-supply-activities

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwihgtmP8KbwAhXLNcAKHbwFDdEQFjACegQIBBAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fmindpeacecincinnati.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FTelehealth-Play-Therapy-Activities.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2RO5qeEHWqoJl6e2jJd0Bh

https://www.theraplatform.com/blog/366/family-therapy-activities

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