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Family Therapy

Family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that concentrates on addressing issues affecting the health and functioning of a family. Unlike individual therapy, family therapy focuses on treating the family as a whole, addressing the relationships and dynamics within the unit rather than just individual symptoms or issues.

Goals of Family Therapy

The primary objectives of family therapy include:

  • Improving Communication: Facilitating better understanding and openness among family members.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Power Struggles: Helping family members resolve ongoing conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Managing Special Situations: Assisting in navigating family situations like divorce, death, or chronic illness.
  • Enhancing Family Functioning: Working towards a healthier, more functional family dynamic.

Who Can Benefit

Family therapy can be beneficial for a variety of families and individuals, including:

  • Families facing interpersonal conflicts or communication issues.
  • Households with children or adolescents exhibiting behavioral problems.
  • Families dealing with mental health issues that impact the family dynamic.
  • Individuals navigating significant life transitions affecting the family.

Typical Scenarios Addressed

Family therapy can help address various situations, such as:

  • Marital Strife: Assisting couples in resolving conflicts and improving their relationship.
  • Parent-Child Conflicts: Helping parents and children understand each other’s perspectives and strengthen their bond.
  • Blended Family Challenges: Aiding in the smooth transition and adjustment of blended families.
  • Substance Abuse: Supporting families coping with a member’s substance abuse and its impacts.

Process of Therapy

In family therapy sessions, one can expect:

  • The therapist to play a facilitative role, guiding discussions and interventions.
  • Sessions to typically involve multiple family members, with formats varying based on the therapist’s approach.
  • A collaborative nature, where each family member’s input is valued and considered.

Aims of Family Therapy

Family therapy aims to bring about several key benefits, such as:

  • Improved Relationships: Fostering a deeper understanding and stronger bonds between family members.
  • Enhanced Communication Skills: Teaching effective ways to communicate needs and listen to others.
  • Increased Understanding of Family Dynamics: Recognizing and addressing patterns that may be harmful or unproductive.
  • Better Problem-Solving Abilities: Equipping family members with skills to address and resolve future issues collaboratively.

Family therapy offers a path to healing and growth, not just for individual members, but for the family unit as a whole.


Tim Allyn
Individual, Couples, Young Persons, Pre-Marital and Family Counsellor with Dundee Counselling. Tim has over 10,000 hours (14 years) experience in counselling and has a special interest in helping people heal from their past trauma and abuse.
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