Family therapy aims to draw on and amplify family strengths to help overcome problems experienced by individual members or the family as a whole. The presenting problem is considered within the wider context of family relationships thereby facilitating a greater understanding of how members function as family unit. This process can improve communication and engender a better understanding of each other.
Fundamentally it is all about relationships: relationships between family members as well as their relationship to the problem.
If a child in a family starts to develop a problem, it affects everyone else within the family and just as importantly, the family has an impact on the child’s problem.
Similarly, if there are difficulties within the couple/parent relationship, this can have consequences for the children in the family.
The space that family therapy can provide allows each member to express their opinions, needs and experiences. It emphasises family relationships as an important factor in the psychological health of its members.
Family therapy offers family members a safe space to consider and talk about difficult thoughts and feelings together. It also gives them an opportunity to explore each other’s experiences and views, to appreciate each other's needs, and to build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.
In family therapy, as well as considering strategies to deal with certain difficulties (and what might get in the way of us implementing such techniques), we look at the relationships within the family.
All family members are welcome to attend the sessions. However, in certain sessions, it might be most helpful for only parts of the family to attend (parents on their own or one parent with a child).
The number and frequency of appointments will depend on the needs of the family but are likely to be two weeks apart.