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Working with Families

What is Family Therapy?

Families play an enormous role in shaping who we become and how we relate to others. We are all born with a family, whether or not it is a biological family or an adopted family or something else, entirely unique. These early relationships have a massive impact on who we are and how we see the world. But what happens when it seems to go wrong?

Let’s face it, getting on well all of the time with family is difficult and having an impartial person to help each other to listen and hear different viewpoints can be incredibly helpful. 

Family Therapy is similar to individual therapy; however, it is targeted at the whole family unit. It is possible to work with some or all of the family members. This type of therapy can address issues that are specific to family systems. 

  • Observe how people interact within family units;
  • Assess and resolve relationship problems;
  • Diagnose and treat psychological disorders within a family context;
  • Guide clients through life transitions such as divorce or death;
  • Identify problematic behavioural patterns;
  • Help replace dysfunctional behaviours with healthy alternatives;

Some of the broader outcomes of family therapy include: strengthening relationships, solving specific issues and improving conflict management. 

It’s essential to find the right person to work with, and not all therapists are experienced in working with families. In addition to standard psychology training it is essential a family therapist has learnt specific skills and models that apply to working with family units

Types of Family Therapy

There are many different types of Family Therapy. To name a few, these are :

Narrative Family Therapy

This type of therapy involves each person telling their own ‘story’ and understanding how that story came about. Hearing why a person thinks a certain way about an issue helps us understand different perspectives. And from here, we can often find a middle ground of compromise. 

Functional Family Therapy
Working with Families

Ask your therapist if they have:

    1. Training relating to family therapy
    2. Experience working with other families.
Family Systems Therapy

This type of approach utilises the strength of the relationships within the family unit to address problematic areas. 

Bowenian Therapy

This type of family therapy is most useful when not involving all family members in the therapy process. It can help certain members to become less reactive to particular situations.

This type of therapy is often utilised for families, including teens or adolescents. It is helpful as a short term approach and can be used to target risky behaviours and or substance use. 

Is it for me?

What to do next?
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