Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that is meant to help initiate change and nurture development in intimate relationships between family members. Family systems therapy is based on Murray Bowen’s family systems theory which posits that individuals are inseparable from their network of relationships. The role of the family therapist is to facilitate conversations and act as catalysts to strengthen and improve existing connections between family members. The important piece of family therapy is not the number of people involved in the session, but the analytical framework and perspective.
Family Systems Therapy
Family systems therapy helps individuals resolve their problems in the context of their family units, where many issues are likely to begin. Each family member works together with the others to better understand their group dynamic and how their individual actions affect each other and the family unit as a whole. One of the most important premises of family systems therapy is that what happens to one member of a family happens to everyone in the family.
How Family Systems Therapy Works
During the initial stages of family systems therapy, I will individually interview each member of the family to learn about each family member’s role, beliefs, personalities, objectives and concerns. Next, a plan will be outlined regarding the best approach I believe will be effective in remedying the problems and rationale for the same. Throughout the course of treatment, I will choose which members of the family to meet with individually and/or together, in specific iterations over the course of multiple appointments in an effort to resolve a problem that directly affects one or more family members. During appointments, each family member will have the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about how they are affected. Together, the family works to help the individual in distress and to help relieve the strain on the family. Family members explore their individual roles within the family, learn how to switch roles, if necessary, and learn ways to support and help each other with the goal of restoring family relationships and rebuilding a healthy family system.