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Family Therapy Activities

PUBLISHED ON: 02.15.2024
Happy family with two small daughters having fun outdoors

When family conflicts escalate, it’s easy to feel helpless and lost. This is where family therapy can be a lifesaver. Family therapy is an effective approach that addresses specific issues affecting the health and functioning of a “family unit”. It enables family members to understand one another better, resolve conflicts, and foster healthier and stronger bonds. It involves using a variety of treatment strategies to enable each member to communicate better and address their issues together.

Family therapy activities can range from simple communication exercises to more complex behavioral interventions, but their objective always remains the same – to improve family dynamics. 

In the following sections of this blog, we will introduce several effective family therapy activities designed to provide solutions for different family members. These activities, implemented through a licensed therapist, are beneficial in enhancing communication, understanding the implicit family rules and dynamics, and fostering a stronger bond within the entire family.

Therapy Activities for All Types of Families 

Let’s take a closer look at a variety of family therapy activities customized for different types of families.

Family Therapy Activities for Kids 

Young children may need family therapy to address behavioral issues, emotional distress, or developmental concerns within the context of family dynamics and relationships. Here are some examples of activities that can provide a supportive environment for children and their families to understand and resolve conflicts.

family therapy for kids infographic

Emotions Ball

A ball is tossed around among family members, and whoever catches it shares something about how they feel. This game is designed to encourage open expression of emotions in a safe and playful environment.

Musical Chairs

A classic game with a therapeutic twist, where the pause in music prompts a discussion or sharing moment. It’s a fun way to get young children to express themselves and interact positively with family members.

Board Games

Playing board games together can foster teamwork, patience, and turn-taking, as well as provide opportunities for family bonding and reducing stress through play.

Family Therapy Activities for Teenagers

Teens may need family therapy to navigate the complexities of adolescence. This therapeutic approach offers a supportive space to improve communication, address mental health issues, and strengthen family bonds amidst these challenges. Let’s explore some examples of activities that can effectively address these needs and foster deeper connections within the family.

family therapy activities for teenagers infographic

Role Reversal

This activity involves family members switching roles with each other to understand and empathize with the other person’s perspective. It can be particularly enlightening for parents and teenagers, helping to break down barriers and improve mutual understanding.

Miracle Question

A therapeutic technique where the therapist asks the individual to envision a future where all their problems are solved overnight. This question helps teenagers articulate their hopes and desires, facilitating discussions about goals and steps to achieve them.

Letter to Your Future Self

Teenagers write letters to their future selves, discussing their current feelings, hopes, and fears. This activity encourages self-reflection and consideration of future aspirations, which can be a powerful tool for personal growth.

Family Tree Game

A creative activity where the family works together to create a family tree, discussing each member and their relationships. It helps children understand family dynamics and their place within the family unit.

Family Therapy Activities for Adults

Adults may seek family therapy to address long-standing conflicts, improve communication, and heal relational wounds. It offers a space to understand and resolve adult-specific challenges, including marital issues, parenting conflicts, and navigating life transitions, promoting healthier and more fulfilling relationships. These are some examples of deeper family therapy activities. 

family therapy activities for adults infographic

Narrative Therapy

This approach involves individuals recounting their personal stories, highlighting strengths and positive outcomes. It helps adults reframe their experiences and see their lives from a different, more empowered perspective.


A communication exercise where one family member speaks, and another mirrors back what they heard. This activity enhances listening skills, ensures that members feel heard, and can clarify misunderstandings within adult relationships.

Family Genogram

Creating a detailed family tree that includes relationships, medical history, and significant events. This activity helps adults understand patterns and issues within the family lineage, facilitating discussions on inherited traits and behaviors.

These are just a few examples of the techniques therapists use in family therapy sessions. The key is to ensure the activities are appropriately chosen to resonate with the family members’ needs, age, and overall goals for the therapy session.

Family Therapy Activities for Relationship Building

When it comes to improving family dynamics and strengthening bonds, few strategies are as impactful as family therapy activities. 

Activities in therapy are carefully selected and scientifically designed interactional activities that help family members gain insights into each other’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Each activity targets specific issues or conflicts and aims to facilitate mutual understanding and respectful communication within the family. The activities can range from simple conversation starters to group exercises like role-plays, drawing family trees, playing musical chairs, or engaging in collaborative games.

The premise behind these activities is to help each member of the family express their feelings in a safe environment and address issues they might be struggling with. By involving the whole family in resolving these issues, it builds a support network that collectively works towards more effective communication and healthier relationships. It is a dynamic way of breaking down walls and fostering open, honest conversations within the family.

By providing tools for family members to better understand and support each other, these activities enhance family coping mechanisms, promote psychological well-being in individuals, and contribute to stronger and healthier family units.

No matter the age or position within the family, everyone has an important role and can greatly contribute to the overall success of the therapy.

Benefits of Family Therapy

Understanding the value of family therapy programs is crucial before undertaking them. These wholesome activities are not just games or exercises, but scientific methods with powerful therapeutic potential. They offer numerous tangible benefits that can drastically improve family relationships and mental health. 

Addressing Family Issues Directly

Family therapy activities are a powerful tool designed to address family problems. Whether it be brewing tension between siblings, miscommunication between parents, or deeper, underlying issues that have been unaddressed, these activities provide an ideal platform to deal with them collectively. The therapist works with the family to recognize these issues and often employs active listening techniques and conflict resolution methodologies to address them adequately.

Fostering Open Communication

A significant aspect of these therapies is effective communication. Family therapy activities are crafted to foster open communication channels within the family. They help family members to express their feelings without fear of judgment, misunderstandings, or reprisals. In doing so, these activities often reveal hidden concerns and encourage a sense of empathy among members.

Building Trust and Strengthening Bonds

Family therapy also works wonders in strengthening faith and trust within the family. It helps the family members see beyond their standpoint and appreciate the experiences, thoughts, and feelings of other family members. The therapy helps in creating a stronger bond within the family and forming healthier relationships.

Supporting Recovery and Healing

For families that are dealing with serious issues like substance abuse or mental illness, family therapy can serve as an ally in their path to recovery. Family therapy activities designed for addiction recovery or to deal with mental health disorders provide multifold benefits. They not only help the individual deal with the issue but also educate and support the family in dealing with the situation. The mutual understanding and emotional backing received during the therapy prove to be indispensable in these difficult times.

Enriching Family Life

Family therapy activities introduce positive behavioral changes, enhance understanding, increase respect, and foster love among the members. They are designed to break through the walls of miscommunication and foster a deeper understanding among family members.

The Role of Therapists in Family Group Therapy Activities

Mental health matters and it’s more than okay to seek help. As we’ve explored in this blog, family therapy activities can be an impactful and engaging method to uncover and address issues in your family’s dynamics.

Family therapy activities – under the guidance of mental health professionals who use PIMSY EHR – can serve as a road to healthier communication, stronger bonds, and overall improved family life.

The success of any family therapy activity largely depends on the expertise and guidance of the therapist conducting the session. A licensed family therapist often takes on multiple roles – from being a facilitator to a mediator – depending on the requirements of each therapy activity. PIMSY EHR equips therapists with the tools they need to enhance their group and family therapy sessions.

PIMSY EHR software can significantly enhance group therapy sessions by providing comprehensive, HIPAA-compliant solutions tailored to the needs of mental and behavioral health facilities. It allows for efficient documentation and reporting, aiding in tracking progress effectively. Additionally, PIMSY’s client management features facilitate better communication and scheduling, ensuring that therapists can focus on delivering effective group therapy strategies.

For more detailed information on how PIMSY EHR can support group therapy sessions, contact us today.

Jayne Kay
Author: Jayne Kay

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