Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasises family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.
The need for family therapy grew from the recognition that individuals are born into, develop, and live in a unique social and interpersonal context. This means that family therapists view the external forces surrounding an individual as important factors in understanding and treating problems between families and couples.
Family therapy focuses on:
- What we can learn about family beliefs and from family history, like roles, rules, culture, and patterns over time and across generations.
- Assisting families with coping with the challenges of family life and transitions, like coupling, incorporating children, adjusting to adolescence, launching children into adulthood, dealing with retirement and old age.
- Managing the stressors on family life such as mental and physical illness, divorce/separation, loss, migration and disability.
- Utilising the supports, resources and hidden strengths that exist within and around the family.
Consider family therapy when:
- Your family or partnership is in constant conflict.
- Your family or partnership is communicating poorly with each other.
- Someone in your family or partnership appears overly unhappy, withdrawn, worried, fearful, aggressive or showing signs of weight or food problems.
- Someone in your family or partnership is having trouble adjusting to a life transition, a major loss or change.
- Someone in your family or partnership needs support to cope with a serious mental disorder, such as anorexia or schizophrenia, or an illness like cancer or dementia.
Loss counselling is an extremely important part of grief. It can help an individual, partnership, or family cope with the loss and manage during such a challenging life event.