Family systems therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy that assists individuals in resolving issues that they have within their families, which is where many problems begin. This form of therapy focuses on each particular family member working with one another to understand the dynamic of the group and how their actions as an individual affect one another and the family as a whole. One of the most important aspects of this type of therapy is what occurs to one family member occurs to every single family member.
A large number of psychologist issues develop early in life and are a result of family-related relationships. Unfortunately, these tend to surfaces down the road within the issues surfacing at any given time. Families in conflict, as well as individuals and couples with concerns or issues with their families, can generally benefit from family systems therapy. This particular type of therapy can help with a variety of mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, personality disorders, bipolar disorders, food-related disorders and addiction. This treatment approach has been known to assist individuals as well as family members in controlling and coping with physical disorders and disabilities.
During this type of treatment, the family will work together, but they will also work individually to resolve a problem that is directly impacting one or more members of the family. Every single member of the family will have the chance to speak, expressing his or her feelings and thoughts about how they have been impacted. The family will work together to help the family member in distress to essentially relieve some of the strain that is currently on the family. Members of the family will explore their roles as individuals within the family, and if necessary, learn how to switch over to a new role or learn how to support one another. The ultimate goal is to restore relationships with one another and to rebuild a healthy family unit.
In the mid-1950s, Psychiatrist Murray Brown developed this treatment. Brown had extensive knowledge of family patterns and systems theory, and he believed that the emotions, personalities and behaviors of adult individuals were a result of their order of birth, their role within their families and the coping mechanisms that they had developed over time for dealing with emotional issues (especially related to family). To better understand the family system, one must look at the family as a whole. To go deeper than that, one must understand that that the definition of family is more that the people themselves - it’s how they interact with one another.
After deciding family systems therapy is for you, start searching for the right family systems therapist for you and your family.
For more information on family systems therapy, feel free to reach out to us at Shadow Mountain Recovery. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.