Leone Centre Glossary

Mental Health in Families

Mental Health in Families

Family therapy plays a significant role in addressing the mental health of individuals within a family unit. By understanding and improving the interactions between family members, this therapeutic approach aims to encourage a healthier emotional environment.

Common issues addressed

Family therapy often addresses a range of mental health concerns that can affect families. These issues include communication breakdowns, unresolved conflicts, and behavioural problems among children and adolescents. Additionally, it can help families manage the emotional impact of major life changes such as divorce, bereavement, or chronic illness.

Family therapy focuses on the dynamics between family members rather than viewing issues as isolated problems of individuals. It encourages each member to understand their role within the family system and how their behaviour affects others. This holistic approach can be beneficial in creating lasting change and improving the overall well-being of the family.

How therapy can help

Family therapy helps families develop better communication skills, resolve conflicts more collaboratively, and understand each other’s perspectives. This can lead to stronger, more supportive relationships and a more cohesive family unit.

How therapy works

Family therapy typically involves regular sessions with an experienced therapist who guides the family through discussions and activities designed to improve their interactions. The therapist helps the family identify patterns of behaviour that contribute to their issues and works with them to develop healthier ways of relating to one another.


What is the goal of family therapy?

The goal of family therapy is to improve the interactions and relationships between family members, thereby enhancing the mental health and well-being of the entire family unit.

How long does family therapy take?

The duration of family therapy varies depending on the specific issues being addressed and the goals of the therapy. Some families may see improvement in a few sessions, while others may require longer-term therapy.

Can family therapy help with individual mental health issues?

Yes, family therapy can help individuals by improving the overall family dynamic, which can, in turn, beneficially influence an individual’s mental health.


  1. American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (2023). Family Therapy Overview.
  2. National Health Service. (2023). Family Therapy.
  3. Psychology Today. (2023). What Is Family Therapy?.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision