Ditto my experience except substitute "stepdaughter" for "mother". It did help hubby and I learn some techniques for dealing with her, and learn how to work together instead of allowing her to push buttons. He and I got in a lot fewer arguments, at least!I think family therapy can be helpful depending on family members involved. My mom used it to spew her own insecurities and really took it over. I think she needed individual sessions but wasn't willing to take them. It didn't help as much as I would have liked, but I think it did actually help my parents interact with me in a way that wasn't so horrible, lol.
In general, I do think well of it and recommend it.
We had a similar problem, Libby. Stepdaughter was and still is, at almost age 40, incapable of telling the truth. She pulled the wool over more than one therapist's eyes--we tried a few. But it was beneficial in helping hubby and I learn to work together as a team, so in our situation it was worth it for that aspect.My husband, our then 11 year old daughter, and I went to family therapy together. We adopted her as a 4 year old, and our case-worker was on3 of the therapists. Because she "only" had a BS degree, she was joined by a PhD, who made us her special little project. (can you tell that I didn't care for her at all?) Our daughter simply did not know how to tell the truth about anything, and to this day (13 years later) she still doesn't. We role-played, we talked, we played games, etc. In the end, after the PhD. made a fool of herself at one session (because our daughter was "such a pretty little thing, and she just loved her!") her advice came down to this: assume she's lying until she proves otherwise. Really? That's the great advice?
While I know that family therapy can be of the utmost help in some situations, I think you have to make sure you've got the right therapist. We obviously didn't. I sincerely hope you have better luck than we did.
I can see how pairing individual with group could be beneficial. But like you say, find a GOOD therapist, and that by itself can be a challenge.I do think family therapy is more effective when people are having individual sessions to make changes. ...I think family therapy is more effective when paired with individual therapy, but I wouldn't recommend it as a substitute necessarily.
But then, the challenge is getting a good therapist. A bad one can do so much damage. It's a shame.