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Family Systems Therapy


Family Systems Therapy is used to help couples and family members experiencing problems in their relationships. The approach focuses on the interaction between family members and treats these relationships as an importance influence on the psychological well-being of participants. Therapists take a detached, neutral stance in order to be as impartial as possible.

History

Family Therapy began in the late 1940s during the treatment of schizophrenic patients. It was found that the behaviour of the patient's family members influenced the condition of the patients themselves. One of the doctors, Dr Murray Bowen began to see the family as one organism or system with distinct patterns, rules and functions that directly affected the condition of the patient. They were eventually treated with their families as part of the same program.

Approach

Family System Therapy is based on Systems Theory. Family issues and problems are attributed to the systematic relationships within the family group rather than individual members. The human family is seen to behave as a single emotional unit that can be a huge influence on behaviour. Therapists tend to shy away from a cause-and-effect approach and instead focus on the manner in which interaction can maintain and prolong certain problems.

How can it help?

Family Systems Therapy is used to help both families and individual family members. It is suitable for treating psychological problems such as Schizophrenia, addiction and eating disorders, and can encourage groups to come to terms with such issues. Divorce and other family crisis are also addressed by the Family Systems approach.



Family System Therapy resources

Association For Family Therapy And Systemic Practice In The UK

Bowen Centre For The Study Of The Family

The Institute Of Family Therapy

 
Therapy Guide

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