Systemic Family Therapy

A therapy service for individuals, couples and families

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How does this family therapy differ from other therapies?

This type of therapy focuses on relationships from many different points of view. A Systemic Family Therapist is often more active in asking questions than some other kinds of therapist.

Systemic Family Therapists are aware that there are many different perspectives on problems, and many different ways in which families live their lives; they are skilled in working with these differences.

Is systemic family therapy right for me, or us?

Family therapists work with difficulties in adults and children of all ages. This therapy is a way of thinking about problems and their solutions, and understanding how relationships are central to dealing with them.

What are the sessions like?

Often, family therapists work with the whole family, including children, all together in one room. At other times they work with couples, with other combinations of family members, or with individuals alone, depending on what the problem is.

Systemic Family Therapists  often work with a colleague or team, to generate new ideas They might talk together, to share their ideas respectfully, with each other, in front of the family or individual about the problems and ideas being generated in the session. One or more colleagues might therefore work with your therapist and act as a consultant to the therapist and the family.

What happens during the initial consultation?

I will talk to you about your concerns and ask questions about how you think and feel, and about important family beliefs and values, while also listening to, and thinking about, the points of view of everyone present, or other significant people who are not present. The aim is to understand the effect of the problems on everyone, and of everyone on the problems.

I will ask about who else is involved, and any relevant history and traditions in your family and heritage. I will explain how I work - the aim is to be open and collaborative with you and agree a plan for further sessions.

What happens in a typical session?

As in the initial session, the individual, family or couple will have a meeting with me, and I will review what has been happening. We will think together about how things are changing or remaining stuck, and develop ideas about how everyone is now understanding things. I have a range of knowledge, skills and creative techniques that enable families to bring about changes in their own lives.

How often does the therapy take place?

On average, sessions takes place every two to three weeks, although they can be more or less frequent. A session is normally about an hour to an hour and a half, and treatment lasts anything from a few meetings to a year or more.

Are there any risks?

I aim to provide a place where people can be open about the effect of the process on themselves and others close to them, and I work hard to make sure everyone feels understood. But when problems are expressed they can seem overwhelming and upsetting – sometimes it will take some time for change to happen. The therapy gives people space to explore any stress they feel during the process, and to give feedback about how the therapy is going.

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