Individual and Family Therapy
Family therapy is a treatment intervention that considers the family as a system where each individual member's actions affect others in the system. The family system is looked at as the "whole being greater than the sum of the parts." Problem behaviors within the family are considered to have a "purpose" within the system.
Interaction patterns within the family are considered meaningful actions. Even when these patterns appear to be dysfunctional they are viewed as a way the family has learned to cope with stress. A problem behavior within the family is viewed as a result of continued dysfunctional interactions rather than the problem dealing solely within any one individual member. Improving the families' interactions with each other then becomes the focus of treatment.
Family therapists approach treating families from a number of theoretical perspectives. They help the family find alternative ways to relate and problem solve. Many presenting problems now are treated through family therapy. A determination may be made during the assessment process of the presenting problem that family therapy could be helpful. The therapist, along with the family, will determine if the whole family or only certain members will be a part of the process.