Systemic Family Psychotherapy   

Family psychotherapy holds that individual and family difficulties (problems) are created and sustained by the interaction of all family members. Instead of focusing on the individual, family psychotherapy works with the whole family - its system, structure, forms of relationships, styles of interaction.

The family is seen as a whole, and one person's problem is seen in the context of the family, because each individual is part of the family system.

Couples and Family Systemic Therapy helps to create and improve the quality of family life.

The family is an open system in which there is a constant exchange between its members and the environment. It is also a self-organizing system, where the source of change and opportunity lies within. This means that the people who make up the family act in one way or another within the rules of a particular family system.

Family psychotherapy helps family members to change unskillful, mutually denying relationships within the family, and promotes greater mutual understanding, tolerance and kindness.

Systemic psychotherapy is based on modern systems theories, which are also of great importance in other fields of science. They allow us to understand how complex dynamic systems work, including complex biopsychosocial systems. Based on systems theory, interventions have been developed to change biopsychosocial patterns of behavior in order to reduce or prevent suffering.

In the systemic approach, the family is the main social context for mental disorders, but not the only one, and not always the most important one. Given that the family is an open system, psychotherapists do not only work with biological families or couples in a legal relationship. In addition to both partners and parents, children and other relatives such as grandparents are also involved, as well as other key persons and members of the helping professions such as doctors, teachers, social workers, etc. Their involvement in the psychotherapy process is direct and/or indirect, asking specific questions about the behavior, possible feelings and intentions of members of the system.

Couples psychotherapy with hetero- or homosexual couples is considered a form of family psychotherapy.

Systemic psychotherapy does not support interactions and structures that reinforce symptoms in the family, it questions dysfunctional ways of solving problems and stagnant, developmentally limiting family stories. Systemic psychotherapy aims to support new, health-promoting ways of family interaction, to encourage the search for new solutions and to create new family stories.

The main methods of psychotherapeutic work are systemic questions to clarify the relationship between symptoms and relationships, positive reframing of symptoms and other problems, symbolic-metaphorical methods such as the genogram and the family sculpture, the reflective team, as well as specific interventions in the final phase of the psychotherapy process and the development of new family rituals (cf. von Schlippe & Schweitzer, 1996).