Couples & Family Therapy

group psychotherapy

Family Therapy & Marriage Counseling in Malibu

When it comes to our family and spouses, we’re stronger together. But sometimes, certain issues can drive a wedge between loved ones and strain the bonds that we’ve formed. Substance abuse, mental illness, infidelity and financial hardships are just a few of the challenges that can create conflict within households, but professional counseling can help families work through these problems and mend their relationships.

That’s why we offer marriage and family therapy as a core mental health discipline at Avalon Malibu. Based on research and theory, family problems are best treated in a family context. In couples and family therapy, we treat each client from a relationship perspective and incorporate the complete family system, focusing on understanding symptoms and patterns within the family dynamic. Our staff primarily treats individuals, but is competently trained in family systems therapy and offers couples and families the option of group therapy.

Why Couples and Family Therapy?

Family therapy is one of the most well-studied and effective therapeutic interventions for families and spouses dealing with a number of issues. In the addiction treatment process, family therapy has been shown to consistently improve both individual and family functioning. It is also particularly effective for families who are caring for elderly members or children with chronic illnesses. Whenever there is a conflict or concern, family therapy can address it in a safe and supportive setting to help restore a healthier family dynamic.

We also offer couples therapy for those in romantic relationships that struggle with depression, insecurities, marital problems and other related issues. Being in a committed relationship takes work, and this type of therapy can help resolve conflicts, improve communication and strengthen the bond between partners.

In marriage and family therapy, compassion and empathy are vital, as are strong listening, organizational, problem-solving and communication skills. Our therapists help clients cultivate this skill set and improve their ability to trust each other, creating a safe space for sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings as part of the healing process. Studies suggest that family therapy is the preferred treatment for:

Who is Marriage and Family Therapy Recommended For?

Marriage and family therapy can help individuals, couples, spouses and families who struggle with a number of conflicts or concerns, including those listed above. As a result of unresolved issues, a number of symptoms can develop within the family unit that may also signify the need for professional help. These signs include the following:

  • FAMILY MEMBERS ARE EXPERIENCING A SIGNIFICANT BREAKDOWN IN COMMUNICATION. Efforts to communicate have become stunted, hostile or unproductive, and family members feel unheard or misunderstood.
  • NORMAL FUNCTIONING HAS BEEN COMPROMISED. Routine tasks or commitments feel burdensome, and family members’ needs aren’t being met.
  • FAMILY MEMBERS ARE EXHIBITING BEHAVIORAL CHANGES. This may include substance use, acting out, isolating, verbal abuse and other behavioral changes.
  • SUBSTANCE ABUSE HAS BECOME A PROBLEM. A family member may have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with daily life, or children and adolescents may be experimenting with getting high.
  • TROUBLE COPING WITH A RECENT UPHEAVAL OR TRAUMATIC EVENT. Some family members may have trouble coping with a recent death, a medical diagnosis, job loss, divorce or separation and other difficult life changes.
  • COUPLES ARE EXPERIENCING INTIMACY ISSUES. Less frequent sex, infidelity, emotional distancing and other issues can lead to an unsatisfying relationship.
  • THERE ARE SIGNS OF MENTAL ILLNESS. Depression, anxiety and other mental health problems can affect the whole family, and helping those who are struggling is vital to the recovery process.
  • FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS HAVE BECOME DYSFUNCTIONAL. This may include enabling bad behavior, excessive criticism, power struggles and more.

Many families encounter one or more of these problems at some point, but family therapy offers a way to address such issues while maintaining or restoring a healthy family dynamic. If your family is experiencing these or similar symptoms, the marriage and family therapists at Avalon Malibu can help begin the healing process.

Marriage and Family Therapy Programs at Avalon Malibu

Because of their intimate connections, couples and families often face unique issues, so they search for help from marriage and family therapists. Our professional programs involve assessing, diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families in groups. We help them address concerns that affect the family’s cohesiveness and achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive relationships within the family unit. Some of the techniques we use to accomplish this include:


At Avalon Malibu, our clinicians are psychotherapists and healing arts practitioners who focus on the role of family dynamics in the recovery and well-being of our clients. The basic foundation of human interactions are the relationships we build and how we nurture them — our relationships must be engaging, and we cannot survive on surface connections alone.
Whether in the family, community, workplace or school setting, healthy relationships promote improved physical and emotional well-being.

These relationships within the family help to develop understanding and empathy and facilitate lifelong learning. When these relationships are strong, we create a support system for life’s difficulties. That’s why it’s important to address any issues that compromise the family system and the bonds we’ve formed — the stronger our relationships become, the stronger we are, and the more zest we have for our lives.

family therapy

What Makes Avalon Malibu Special

Not all therapists are the same. Contrary to popular belief, a large majority are not qualified to treat couples and families. That’s because when a client’s family is present during a session, they’re likely to have conflicting and volatile opinions or ideas. If a therapist is not prepared to intervene, they might appear to take sides and alienate one or more participants, creating an even more problematic situation. This can cause more harm than good and result in a mediocre outcome at best. To prevent this, therapists who provide marriage counseling and family therapy services must have the training and expertise to work with multiple clients at one time and guide them through the healing process.

At Avalon Malibu, our therapists have such training and experience. Our licensed marriage and family therapists have spent their entire careers studying and working with families and couples, perfecting an approach that really works. Their expert guidance creates a safe space where participants can resolve their conflicts with a feeling of mutual respect. Our therapists also ensure the clients feel heard and let them know that their perspectives will be honored.

Throughout the process, our therapists empower the once-polarized members of a couple or family and help them come together in a new and creative way. Our past clients tell us that our approach really works — we’re confident that our new clients will also agree.

Contact Avalon Malibu

At Avalon Malibu, we provide family and couples therapy to help clients and their loved ones heal together. Dealing with addiction, mental illness, a lack of intimacy and other issues can strain the entire family system, but our licensed marriage and family therapists can help everyone move past these challenges and build healthier relationships. To learn more about family and couples therapy at Avalon Malibu, contact or call us today at (866) 332-1068.

We will work with most out of network PPO policies

Call 888-835-8075 to verify your insurance benefits today!
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