What is Family Therapy?
Families that are struggling with any issue that brings added stress, such as relationships, mental health, the loss of a family member, addiction, divorce, or financial problems, may benefit from family therapy.
While the individual therapist works with one individual, the family therapist views problems in the context of the “system” of the family, helping them through their challenges.
For example, having a parent who is addicted to alcohol is not a problem that can be solved on its own. The parent’s alcoholism likely has a negative effect on the rest of the family as well.
A family therapist believes that problems must be addressed with the whole family rather than at a separate individual level.
Some of the issues for which a family may want to consider engaging the services of a qualified professional therapist are:
- Communication difficulties between family members
- Children, teenagers struggling
- Family members isolating from family life
- Family members struggling to cope with stress
- Someone in your family having difficulty functioning in their normal capacity
- The family has experienced a form of trauma and members are finding it hard to cope
- Mental health, addiction, eating disorders in the family
- Family members with extreme emotional reactions
What is the Family Therapy Approach?
The family therapy approach involves treatment aimed at assisting families in resolving issues affecting their members’ mental health and relationships. Family and couples therapy can help family members improve communication, develop more successful coping strategies, and resolve issues within the family system.
Family therapy focuses on interactions between individuals in a family. The systemic therapists focus on a problem in the context of family relations and dynamics. It aims to heal the problem within a family.
What are the Three Goals of Family Therapy?
The main goal of Systemic Family Therapy is to heal any mental, emotional, or psychological problems within a family. While the specific goal of family therapy largely depends on the unique circumstances of each family, the goals of family therapy commonly include:
- Developing and maintaining healthy boundaries within a family
- Improving communication and assisting family members in better understanding family dynamics
- Deal with and overcome family relationship issues.
Other goals of family therapy involve
- Examining how interactional patterns within a family contribute to psychopathology
- Activating the family’s internal resources
- Improving the family’s problem-solving abilities
- Providing psychoeducation to family members
- Provide support to the family member who is struggling
- Strengthening the family’s emotional health
Couple and family therapy has proven to be extremely effective in many cases, and some of the benefits include:
- A better understanding of healthy boundaries and patterns within a family
- Improved communication between family members
- Increased empathy
- Reduced conflict within the family by gaining anger management skills
- Greater transparency between family members
- Restored trust, support, and forgiveness between family members
- Conflict resolution
- Bringing back together family members who have been isolated or have been isolating themselves
What are Four Common Family Therapy Techniques?
Family therapy techniques involve methods family therapists use to help family members resolve conflicts by enhancing their engagement and communication. For example, in narrative family therapy, the therapist helps family members deconstruct problematic stories, share preferred stories, and listen to the individual stories of other family members.
There are many different types of family therapy techniques. However, the four family therapy techniques most commonly used include:
- Structural family therapy
- Bowenian family therapy
- Strategic family therapy
- Systematic family therapy
What are the Five Approaches of Family Therapy?
The five approaches of family therapy involve:
- Structural Family Therapy
Structural therapy focuses on the interactions between the family members rather than on their personal issues.
- Strategic Family Therapy
Strategic therapy has five stages:
- Social stage
- Problem stage
- Interactional stage
- Goal-setting stage
- Task-setting stage
- Communication Therapy
Communication therapy focuses on communication difficulties between couples and family members.
Psychoeducation aims to teach persons with substance use disorders and their families to better understand how substance use affects the family and how the family impacts substance use.
- Relationship Counselling
Relationship counselling focuses on strained relationships between family members and can include parent-child, spouse-spouse, or significant other-significant other relationships within the family system.
Why Family Therapy at Leone Centre?
Leone Centre experienced Family Therapists offer therapy in London and online.
Our therapists remain neutral – we don’t take sides. We help by identifying and assessing behavioural patterns within the family and through encouraging fair, balanced communication between family members.
All discussions in counselling are handled sensitively and, of, course, discussions with your therapist are always confidential.
Leone Centre provides online and in-person family therapy, as well as professional relationship therapy online and at our practices in London. To book your first meeting with one of our family therapists call us on 020 3930 1007.
- Family Therapy Techniques by Dara Gasior, PsyD
- Family Interventions: Basic Principles and Techniques by Mathew Varghese, Vivek Kirpekar and Santosh Loganathan
- An Introduction to Family Therapy by Rudi Dallos & Ros Draper
- Family Therapy Can Help by SAMHSA