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Home / Advice / Counselling / Family therapy and how it can help

Family therapy and how it can help

By: Lorraine Hackett

Updated: 02 September 2016

Family therapy and how it can help

It is commonly misunderstood that therapy is performed on a one to one basis, but family therapy can be a very effective way to work through many issues.

While this is normally the case there is also couples/marital therapy which would involve both partners and there is family therapy which can involve a larger number of people in a session.

If you are working through some issues within your family, talking to a mental health professional can really help.
If you’d like to talk to a member of our team, call us at 076 680 1060, email or book an appointment at

Systemic or as it is also known, family therapy, considers the distress of the individual in the context of relationships within the family unit and society.

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy which aims to relieve the stress and conflict in the family systems by examining the interaction between the family members and improving the methods of interaction.

This form of therapy focuses on the interaction of the individual with others and seeks to discover meaning and understanding of self and the wider system. Rather than focusing on symptoms that brought clients to seek therapy, systemic & family therapy aims to help living systems to develop new patterns together to allow growth.

This form of therapy is typically long-term.The specific number of family therapy sessions depends on the situation and type of family therapy, but the average is between 5-20 sessions.

There are a multitude of reasons to benefit from the process of family therapy. It must be acknowledged that at first it may be strange or different conducting therapy with family members however it can help identify and treat a vast range of issues.

All family therapy approaches are designed to help families improve communication, problem-solving, and coping skills, and enhance their sense of connection to one another.

Family therapy is normally applicable under the following conditions:

  • When there is a major traumatic event or change that may impact some of or the entire family e.g natural disaster, relocation to a new place.
  • When a child is having difficulties with substance abuse, eating disorders or school etc.
  • Loss of a family member
  • Domestic violence
  • Divorce
  • Adjustment to a new family member entering the family system e.g birth of a new child, adoption, a grandparent entering the home



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