Family therapy is not just for families
What is family therapy?
Family and systemic psychotherapy also known as family therapy (FT) , helps people who are experiencing problems with their relationships. FT looks at every influence on the family and places the family and their problem in that context. Once the context is understood, options for change can be developed.
Family life isn't always easy¦.
Family life can be complicated because every family member is different. Each person thinks and talks about things in a different way, has different ideas, worries and strengths. A family has to make all these differences work. A family may also have to adapt to changes in their situation which can make life stressful such as unemployment, adolescence, moving home, etc.
Do Family Therapists only work with families?
No, they can help individuals, couples and family groups. However, research has shown that there is an advantage to be gained if all those involved in the family context are included.
When a family is involved with several different agencies family therapists can also work with the network of involved professionals to ensure that the work is co-ordinated and transparent.
How long will it take?
Research tells us that after 6 sessions 2 out of 3 families feel a benefit from FT, sometimes less. However, some difficulties can be more complex and it may take longer to find alternative paths towards change.
What if someone is reluctant to go?
This is understandable. FT can feel like a big step. In order to help others feel more comfortable with the idea it may be useful to meet with the family therapist beforehand to discuss ways in which this can be achieved.