Conjoint therapy is an approach to treatment where two or more clients are seen together in a therapy session. This type of therapy may be used in marriage counseling or to deal with issues between a parent and a child. Clients dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following military service or another traumatic event who are having trouble in their personal relationships may also benefit from conjoint therapy.
During the sessions, the couple or family members can get help to improve their communication and coping skills. The sessions are a safe place for clients and their families to bring up issues which may be awkward, uncomfortable, or too “loaded” to discuss outside of the office.
Under the direction of the therapist, clients can reduce blaming and negativity in their relationship. Part of the therapy process involves setting goals for improving the relationship and determining the specific steps required to achieve them. With conjoint therapy, each step in this process is completed with the help of a therapist. The client and his or her family don’t have to go it alone or feel that they are getting stuck or bogged down in the process.
This type of treatment has the advantage of being highly flexible and its focus can be adjusted according to the needs and goals of the clients involved. Conjoint therapy can also be used in conjunction with individual therapy sessions in situations where a client wants or needs to do some individual work before feeling ready to bring others into the process.