What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy (otherwise known as Family and Systemic Psychotherapy) enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to explore difficult thoughts and emotions in a safe environment. Its main aim is to allow you to better understand each other’s experiences and make useful and meaningful changes to your relationships.
Family therapy can be very helpful in managing complex family relationships, particularly with children, by facilitating a dialogue with everyone involved.
How does Family Therapy work?
The main distinction between family therapy and individual counselling is that this type of therapy has the view that patterns or systems need adjusting within a wider framework, and do not necessarily reside within an individual. Family Therapy looks at the dynamics of relationships within a family unit, and how they may impact an individual.
Family therapy adopts the position that each and every member of the family or group plays a meaningful part in the dynamics of the overall system. The therapist works with the whole system and takes into account a number of factors such as:
◦ How each member’s past relational patterns are affecting the group.
◦ How the unconscious and conscious beliefs of members may be impacting the need for change.
◦ What certain behaviours expressed by members of the group might mean.
Through talking and initiating, facilitating and managing open dialogue, a therapist will seek to reduce distress and conflict between family members by encouraging them to be open and honest about their emotions.
What issues can Family Therapy help with?
Some themes and issues that can be helped with family therapy include:
◦ Ongoing and prolonged conflict
◦ Parenting issues
◦ Estranged family members
◦ Emotional conflicts
◦ Long distance relationships
◦ Blended families
◦ Domestic violence
◦ Problems with children’s schooling