Leone Centre Glossary

Family Resilience in Family Therapy

Family Resilience

Family resilience in family therapy refers to the ability of a family unit to withstand and adapt to challenges and stressful situations. This concept emphasises the strengths and resources within a family that contribute to their ability to bounce back from adversity.

Core Elements of Family Resilience

The core elements of family resilience include communication, emotional support, and adaptability. These elements help families to function collaboratively even during difficult times.

  1. Communication: Open and honest communication is important in promoting understanding and resolving conflicts within the family.
  2. Emotional support: Providing emotional support to each other helps family members to feel valued and understood, strengthening family bonds.
  3. Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances enables families to manage and overcome various challenges.

Importance in Therapy

Family resilience is an important focus in therapy as it highlights the inherent strengths of the family unit. By recognising and building on these strengths, therapy can help families to enhance their ability to manage stress and work through through difficult periods.

Application in Therapy

In family therapy, practitioners work with families to identify and reinforce their resilience. This involves encouraging better communication, promoting emotional support, and enhancing the family’s ability to adapt to new situations. These efforts aim to create a more cohesive and supportive family environment.


How does family resilience benefit families?
Family resilience benefits families by enabling them to manage stress, resolve conflicts, and support each other collaboratively during challenging times.
Can family resilience be developed over time?
Yes, family resilience can be developed and strengthened over time through practice and support, both within the family and through therapeutic interventions.
What role does communication play in family resilience?
Communication plays an important role in family resilience by facilitating understanding, resolving conflicts, and ensuring that all family members feel heard and valued.


  1. Walsh, F. (2006). Strengthening family resilience. New York: Guilford Press.
  2. Greeff, A. P., & Ritman, I. N. (2005). Individual characteristics associated with resilience in single‐parent families. Psychological Reports, 96(1), 36-42.
  3. Black, K., & Lobo, M. (2008). A conceptual review of family resilience factors. Journal of Family Nursing, 14(1), 33-55.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision