Why learn family and systemic therapy?
Maybe you have seen your individual clients's efforts affected by their relationships , and you want to know how to include this in your work. This observation reflects the key systemic idea that the ways in which relationships operate in families affect the welfare of all.
Maybe you have an interest in patterns, and can see their effects on problems, but you're not too sure of how to bring this into your practice.
Maybe you have become aware of the influence of other helping systems on your clinical work and would like to know how to formulate a hypothesis to make sense of this and then have the skills to intervene effectively.
Maybe you would like to work with families, but you have a dilemma around client confidentiality.
Maybe you would love to work with families and couples, but the idea of managing any potential conflict puts you off?
The shift from working with individuals to working with families requires a few extra skills and perspectives. Here are some:
- Knowing how to engage with multiple versions of reality and explanations
- Knowing how to minimise individuals feeling blame when exploring the interdependence of events and behaviours
- Knowing how to discover the logic of people's repetitive responses , even though they may appear as unhelpful
- Knowing how to bring out the patterns and habits of thought and behaviours that may be keeping the problem in place, and doing this in a way where your clients observe this for themselves
- Knowing how to manage conflict
- Knowing how to help families negotiate changes in power and roles resulting from the therapy
- Knowing how to ensure all members have a voice in the therapy, including young children
- knowing how to stay curious and hopeful in difficult situations.