What is Family Therapy?
Family Therapy is a talking therapy which encourages groups of people to tackle difficulties together. This is most commonly a couple or relatives such as parents and children or siblings. None of us lives in isolation and in our everyday lives we link in with those around us who we care about. This might be in person, over the phone or even just thinking about our relationships with important people. So, when we are having a difficult time such as experiencing stress, health difficulties or mental health problems, it makes sense to use the resources and support of those around us to cope with the challenges life throws at us. Also, when one person is struggling for any reason, those around them, be they partners, children, other relatives or friends, tend to be affected in some way. Their help may be spot on but sometimes there may be other ways in which they may be able to support the person in distress to make positive changes for themselves and their relationships.
How does Family Therapy work?
The therapy offers a safe space to share thoughts, experiences and feelings about anything which is causing distress. Through the sharing of these, building on each other’s strengths and finding new ways to negotiate these difficulties right now and in the future, family therapy can help with a variety of difficulties. This may range from how to negotiate a physical health condition or a diagnosis like autism, experience of depression or even how to manage family disagreements. To find out more about family therapy click here to go to The Association of Family Therapy website.
Who is Family Therapy suitable for?
Groups of two or more family members (e.g.parents, parent(s) and child(ren), siblings, grandparents, step-parents and step-siblings) – any combination, depending on the nature of the problem(s) and who is affected by them.
What issues or problems is Family Therapy suitable for?
A range of issues including:
- bonding and attachment issues
- communication difficulties (including expectations, negotiation and compromise)
- changes and transitions
- adjustment, including separation/ divorce and other changes to the shape of families (e.g. birth of children, step-parenting)
- bereavement and loss (including fertility issues and miscarriage)
- the effect of mental health issues, illness, learning disabilities, addiction issues, domestic violence or abuse on family members
- separation and achieving independence (‘tasks of adolescence’)
- parenting issues
How many sessions will I/we have?
This depends on the issues being explored and would be negotiated with your therapist.