Feelings of worth can flourish, only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open and rules are flexible – Virginia Satir
Family therapy is a method of psychological therapy (psychotherapy) that aims to assist families in improving communication and better resolve conflicts.
Family therapy is usually short term and usually includes all members of the family who are willing and able to participate. The specific treatment plan depends on the family situation and sessions can assist members within the family to deepen family connections, get through stressful times, and deal with conflicting situations in a more proactive and positive manner.
Karmen draws mainly from the Family Systems Theory in her approach to working with families. The Family System Theory is a theory introduced by Dr. Murray Bowen that suggests that individuals cannot be understood in isolation from one another but can be better understood in a family setting, as the family is an emotional unit. According to this theory, patterns develop within families as family members’ behaviour is caused by and causes other members’ behaviours to change in predictable ways. These patterns of behaviour within the family unit can lead to balance but can also lead to dysfunction.
Some of the most prevalent reasons for families seeking psychotherapy include behavioural issues, academic performance issues in children or adolescents, addictions such as substance abuse and gambling, chronic illnesses among others, including:
- Grief and bereavement
- Separation and divorce
- Parental conflict or co-parenting difficulties
- Mental health concerns