Leone Centre Glossary

Systemic Family Therapy in Family Therapy

Systemic Family Therapy

Systemic Family Therapy is a holistic method within family therapy that focuses on the interactions and relationships within a family system rather than viewing issues in isolation.

Interconnected challenges

Systemic Family Therapy addresses challenges that arise from family dynamics, communication patterns, and relational issues, considering the family as an interconnected system.

Therapeutic framework

Systemic Family Therapy views the family as a complex system where each member’s behaviour impacts the others. This approach helps families understand and modify the patterns that contribute to their issues. Key features include:

  1. Emphasising relationships and interactions within the family.
  2. Identifying and altering dysfunctional communication patterns.
  3. Facilitating understanding and cooperation among family members.

This therapy is adaptable to diverse family structures and issues, providing a flexible framework that can be suited to each family’s unique circumstances.

Understanding systemic family therapy

Systemic Family Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that examines the family unit as a whole. It explores the relationships and patterns of interaction between family members to understand the underlying issues contributing to the family’s distress.

Enhancing family dynamics

This therapy helps families improve their dynamics by:

  1. Encouraging open communication.
  2. Developing healthy boundaries.
  3. Strengthening relationships.

Therapeutic process

The therapy process typically involves:

  1. Initial assessment of family dynamics.
  2. Identifying problematic interaction patterns.
  3. Collaborative development of new ways of relating.
  4. Continuous evaluation and adjustment of therapeutic practices.


What issues can Systemic Family Therapy address?
Systemic Family Therapy can address a range of issues including communication problems, conflicts, behavioural issues in children, and emotional distress within the family.
How long does Systemic Family Therapy usually take?
The duration of Systemic Family Therapy varies depending on the specific needs and goals of the family. It can range from a few sessions to several months.
Who can benefit from Systemic Family Therapy?
Any family experiencing relational or communication difficulties, conflicts, or emotional challenges can benefit from Systemic Family Therapy.


  1. Carr, A. (2009). The effectiveness of family therapy and systemic interventions for child-focused problems. Journal of Family Therapy, 31(1), 3-45.
  2. Dallos, R., & Draper, R. (2010). An introduction to family therapy: Systemic theory and practice. McGraw-Hill Education.
  3. Nichols, M. P., & Davis, S. D. (2020). Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods. Pearson.
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision