Most people experience serious difficulties sometimes. If you’re no longer sure what to do for the best, if it feels like close relationships are suffering or seem stuck in patterns of hurtful or harmful behaviour, Family Therapy may help. Whether you are considering therapy for yourself, you and your partner or your family group, children, parents or others important in your life, we hope you find the information here useful.
Family Therapy helps people in close relationship help each other. It enables family members, couples and others who care about each other to express and explore thoughts and emotions safely, to understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on strengths and make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. Individuals also can find Family Therapy helpful, as an opportunity to reflect and strengthen important relationships.
Family and systemic psychotherapisrts also work with the 'systems' or teams of people based in the caring professions and in a variety of settings such as in social care, schools, hospitals, hospices, substance misuse services, odler adults services, youth offending projects, community outreach projects, and also in a wide range of organisational consultancies.
Children, adults, parents, couples and families share their experiences of family and systemic therapy, using words and pictures.
Start by asking your GP, health visitor or other health or social care professional. They may arrange for you to see a GP-based Family Therapist if one is available or, if appropriate, refer you to another family therapy service in your area. Details of accredited Family and Systemic Psychotherapists working independently may also be found on the UKCP website.
Systemic family therapy has been found to be effective for children's and adults' difficulties, both when individuals have acquired a mental health diagnosis and when there is more general or complex distress. It is effective across the lifecycle, spanning developmental stages from under fives to old age. Working therapeutically with individuals together with their families and/or significant others enables the use of individuals’ relationships as a resource, and reduces stress and difficulties for all family members. Family therapy has also been found to be particularly effective during severe and complex disorders requiring extensive treatment. Systemic family therapy can sometimes include relational work with individuals, psychoeducational approaches and multiple family groups. See research page.
We have created a list of organisations offering advice and information to people concerned about their relationships and/or the well-being of themselves or others.