Short description of systemic family psychotherapy

A holistic approach to understanding distress and problems of an individual

Systemic family psychotherapy was developed during the 1950s. It is distinguished from other psychotherapeutic modalities in the holistic way it approaches the problems of an individual. It is based on the belief that the interpersonal relationships in one’s environment and wider social context are equally important for his or her wellbeing and mental health as are the intrapersonal factors.

—  a holistic approach  —

Systemic family therapy focuses on the impact of environment, family dynamics and interpersonal relationships on the problems that bring people to therapy. While doing so it keeps in mind the characteristics of every individual member, his or hers psychosocial development and biological and hereditary factors.

—  empowerment of the systems in finding solutions  —

Most of the work in systemic family psychotherapy is done with couples, families and part of families; however it can be also done with individuals. The goal is to explore the reasons behind the current crisis and to help the involved (family) members in discovering their sources of power to find the solutions to their troubles.


—  an upgrade to the individual treatment and support for other family members  —

Systemic family psychotherapy can be a solution in its self for some families in crisis, however, more often than not, it is an additional help meant to accompany individual treatment of (some) family members. In this case its main role is to support and built upon the results of individual treatment and also offers some relief for other family members, which do not receive treatment, but support their sick loved ones.