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Family Systems Therapy

Parents swinging child in a field

Family Systems Therapy recognises and emphasises the importance of healthy family relationships as an essential part of psychological health for everybody involved.

Indeed, clients who seek treatment on their own, without any family involvement, often revert to old, dysfunctional roles and patterns of interaction with unaware family members once they return home.

This can often cause the individual to quickly relapse into their old addictions or other unhealthy lifestyles. Family therapy, therefore, is used to explore the relationships between the client and their families, and to deal with any problems that may have reinforced the client’s harmful behaviours. Family therapy has been found to be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Creating stronger bonds within the family
  • Deepening understanding and empathy
  • Creating healthier communication
  • Enhancing problem-solving skills
  • Enhancing overall family functioning

Family values and beliefs

Family Systems Therapy is derived from systems theory, which is the study of complex systems in nature, science and society. This approach to treatment attempts to understand the individual client and their problem, within the broader context of the client’s personal environment – i.e. their family’s beliefs, values, and interpersonal interactions.

In the past, family systems therapy would simply focus on the immediate ‘system’ of parents and children. However, we are increasingly realising one’s environment extends far beyond one’s immediate family, and can include aunts/uncles, grandparents, friends/loved ones, co-workers, jobs in certain industries, social networking and media influences.

We strongly believe that, regardless of the nature of a client’s problem, involving members of the family system (however many are able and willing to participate) often benefits both the client and the family members themselves.