Leone Centre Glossary

Family meetings in family therapy

Family meetings

Family meetings in family therapy are an important component of the therapeutic process, offering a structured space for family members to communicate and address their concerns. These sessions aim to improve relationships and enhance understanding among family members.

Purpose of family meetings

Family meetings are designed to facilitate open communication within the family unit. They provide a safe environment where individuals can express their feelings, share experiences, and work towards resolving conflicts. The primary goal is to strengthen familial bonds and provide a supportive atmosphere.

Role of the therapist

An experienced therapist guides the family through the meeting, ensuring that each member has the opportunity to speak and be heard. The therapist helps manage the dynamics of the conversation, encouraging respectful dialogue and mutual understanding. This guidance is important in maintaining a productive and harmonious session.

Structure of family meetings

Family meetings typically follow a structured format to ensure that all relevant issues are addressed. Sessions often begin with a check-in, where each family member can share their current feelings and any pressing concerns. The therapist then facilitates a discussion focused on specific topics that the family wants to explore.

Benefits of family meetings

Engaging in regular family meetings can lead to several benefits, including:

  1. Enhanced communication skills
  2. Increased empathy and understanding among family members
  3. Strengthened relationships and a greater sense of unity
  4. Improved problem-solving abilities within the family


The frequency and duration of family meetings can vary depending on the needs of the family. Some families may benefit from weekly sessions, while others might find bi-weekly or monthly meetings more suitable.

Common issues addressed

Family meetings in family therapy can address a wide range of issues, such as:

  1. Communication breakdowns
  2. Parenting challenges
  3. Sibling rivalry
  4. Major life transitions (e.g., divorce, relocation)
  5. Emotional and behavioural concerns


How can family meetings help improve communication?

Family meetings provide a structured environment where each member can express their thoughts and feelings, which helps in improving overall communication within the family.

What is the role of the therapist during family meetings?

The therapist facilitates the meeting, ensuring that the conversation remains respectful and productive, and that all family members have the opportunity to participate.

How often should family meetings be held?

The frequency of family meetings can vary based on the family’s needs, but they are typically held weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.


  1. Psychology Today – Family Therapy
  2. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  3. NCBI – Family Therapy: An Overview
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision