A private London clinic integrating psychiatry and psychology

Family & Couples Therapy

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Please note that we currently only accept referrals to work with family members over the age of 18 years-old.

Family therapy, often known also as 'systemic therapy', is useful for families, couples and even individuals, particularly when relationship issues appear to be connected to emotional problems. Family therapy often focuses on family/couple interactions in order to encourage family members/couples to find new, less conflictual, and more constructive ways of relating to each other.

Rather than focusing on the origin of the problem, who may be to blame and taking sides, the therapist will attempt to understand how the difficulties have emerged over time and explore with family members how they can constructively support each other to overcome their difficulties. At the same time the therapist will attempt to influence the discussions amongst the family/couple in a way that highlights strengths and resources within their relationships and explore alternative ways of dealing with problems.

A fundamental aspect of family therapy is the therapist's acknowledgment of the cultural background (e.g. economic, cultural, religious context) of the family/couple, whilst also respecting and taking into account individual perspectives, beliefs and life stories which may also influence how relationships within the family operate.

Family therapy is often helpful in addressing marital/couple conflict, life adjustments (e.g. divorce, separation, a family member experiencing serious mental illness or being diagnosed with a serious physical illness), eating disorders, child and adolescent emotional and behavioural problems.

The frequency and number of therapy sessions is negotiated between the family and therapist. However, it is common for therapy sessions to take place at fortnightly or monthly intervals, meeting in total approximately 6-8 times.

References

Carr, A. (2008). Family therapy. West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Dallos, R. & Draper, R. (2005). An introduction to family therapy. Systemic theory and practice (2nd Ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.