Family Therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that treats clients’ difficulties within the context of the family system of interacting members, rather than as purely individual problems. In family therapy, emotional, behavioural and psychological problems are seen as occurring within a network of relationships, rather than in isolation from the client’s interpersonal world. Family therapists may focus more on how patterns of interaction maintain the problem, rather than trying to identify the cause, as this can be experienced as “apportioning blame”, by some families. Therapy sessions focus on assisting families to develop more effective, less stressful ways of living.
Family therapy uses a variety of different intervention techniques including:
- Behavioural techniques – to increase commitment and positive feelings within the family unit, and to improve communication and conflict resolution skills.
- Structural techniques – to strengthen, or rearrange the structural foundation, so the family can function more smoothly.
- Solution-focused techniques – to address future changes in family interactions and the family’s competencies.