Family plays an important role in the emotional, physical and spiritual development of each individual within the family system. The relationship dynamics between its members impacts everyone in the family unit.
The clinical precept of family therapy is that individual problems must be understood within their larger family and environmental systems. This often provides the key to understanding the distress experienced.
Family Therapy or Family Counselling is a form of psychotherapy that seeks to reduce distress and conflict by improving interactions between family members. This is achieved by mobilising their strengths, connections and relationships with each other.
who is family therapy for?
Family therapy is an evidence-based approach that has been shown to help ease distress and reduce symptoms including:
- Depression, anxiety (including social anxiety) and withdrawal
- Long-standing relationships issues and conflict
- Trauma including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders & multi-generational trauma
- Behavioural and Emotional difficulties observed in children and adolescents e.g. eating disorders, learning and developmental disorders, onset of mental illness
- Grief, losses, illnesses (including chronic illnesses)
- Cross-cultural adjustment difficulties
- Prolonged stress due to financial challenge
what happens during family therapy?
Family Therapy or Family Counselling are led by our family counsellor who has extensive training in this area. The first session will typically include the person who made contact, and possibly other family members who are central to the issue at hand. An important feature of family therapy is that a family member who cares about each other will have the space to talk about their experiences while the others listen to them in a way that might not happen in the day to day interaction. Often being heard and understood is sufficient to initiate the family move in the direction towards change.
Frequently, family members use the opportunity to talk about very intimate and intense emotional difficulties without conflict and escalation while being facilitated by the therapist. Family members can often begin to see multiple perspectives that exist and begin to think about how to include the different views that arise in a loving and relational way.
At the end of the first session, the therapist and client will discuss on who will come to the next session. Depending on the unique needs of the family, different combinations of family members may participate in each session. Meeting in different combinations often help family members free themselves to discuss different things in these sessions.