Family therapy can be provided as part of a CBT treatment program for an individual on a mental health care plan.
Family therapy is the preferred treatment approach where there are many people surrounding the presenting problem, including:
- Adjustment problems following family disruption for any reason.
- Attachment and trauma in adopted, foster and blended families.
Family therapy is also a preferred treatment approach for adults where there are complex system issues surrounding the presenting problem, including:
- Relationship difficulties
- Depression and Anxiety Disorders
- Coping with illness or pain
Family Therapy emphasises that relationships are an important factor in psychological health. The therapist works to change the relationships within families and broader social networks.
Family therapy is based on the following principles:
- Mental health difficulties are often made worse by a dysfunctional family
- Close family relationships are often the most important supports a person has, and are extremely important in any long term treatment. In addition, Research has indicated that when an individual has experienced significant trauma, one of the major predictors of recovery is a supportive family network.
The involvement of families is commonly accomplished by their direct participation in the therapy session. Within the session, the family therapist will assist the family by:
- Identifying unhelpful patterns of behaviour that exacerbate difficulties;
- Suggesting different ways of responding to other family members and/or members of the broader system; and
- Influencing conversations in a way that enhances the strengths, wisdom, and support of the wider system.
- Examining the role of reward in the development and/or maintenance of illness behaviors within the family system
If you would like to see a psychologist for family therapy Katherine Hunt is available.