Family Therapy

Family therapy is at the heart of the systemic approach. Family is something much larger than the sum of its members. It is a complex and dynamic entity that has its own rules, rituals and goals – some goals are shared and some are conflicting. Different forms of communication and interactions within the family produce meaning, experiences, behaviors, symptoms and often conflicts.

 

Therapy is always carried out in an atmosphere of safety and trust, allowing for the necessary space in which all members of the family can be expressed, share their perspective and experiences and set individual and shared goals. Even if the family comes to therapy due to issues present with one of its members, the entire family is often affected therapeutically. Change can occur much faster in “larger” systems. Therapy could mean changes in communication patterns, discussing behaviors or perceptions that no longer serve the family and coming into contact with the powers, wealth and psychological resources of the family that may have not been noticed before.

 

Based on the child’s age we might work with the whole family or the parents and older siblings only, whereas teenagers are usually placed in individual therapy. This always depends on the therapeutic goals of the family and the best way in which to approach them in each specific circumstance.

 

In other words, the goal of family therapy is to support and empower all the members of the family so that they can achieve the desired change, solve problems and alleviate symptoms, to experience the family as a safe place and to achieve a balance between autonomy and interdependence.

 

Matters that a family might bring to therapy:

 

  • Improving communication and resolving conflicts

  • Boundary setting issues

  • Phobias and anxiety

  • Dealing with psychosomatic symptoms and chronic illness

  • Violence

  • Addictions

  • Food intake related difficulties

  • Providing support to family member experiencing psychosis

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