Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that assists family members to help each other. It is informed by systems theory, which views family members as belonging to a system that is unique to them. The individuals influence the qualities of the family system, just as the system affects the behaviour of individual members.
A simplified example to illustrate a systems approach might involve an adolescent family member that starts acting aggressively at school. At home, the parental relationship may be breaking down with a lack of communication and unexpressed anger. A systems perspective might explore the relationship between the adolescents’ aggression at school and the unexpressed anger within the parental relationship at home. A family therapist would work with the entire family, without taking sides. They would encourage greater communication and expression of emotions amongst all members so that the system becomes healthier and more balanced.
Family therapy can take place with individual members as well as entire families. The therapist does not take sides and helps you to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely. They facilitate you to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in your relationships.
Research clearly demonstrates the potential benefits of family- inclusive systemic therapy and practice to family members and to the staff supporting them. A compilation of 20 different research studies concluded that family therapy clearly works for general and specific problems
Sessions last for 50 – 90 minutes. It is not possible to say how long the therapy will last but often swift and real progress can be made in a relatively short amount of sessions.
Our practitioners have in-depth knowledge and experience with family related issues. They are genuinely interested in listening without judgement and enabling you to enjoy more nourishing relationships with your family members. Speak to our care coordinator on 0207 118 0407 who is ready to advise you on what treatment approach would suit you best.
Stratton (2010) Report on the Evidence Base for Family Therapy. Association for Family Therapy. www.aft.org.uk AFT (2009) Family Therapy in the UK www.aft.org.uk
AFT (2009) Current Practice, Future Possibilities. www.aft.org.uk