Family therapy

Family therapy works by looking at the family as a system that includes all family members. A problem in the family can be solved by family members as they are helped to see things from one another’s point of view.

What is it?

All families go through different stages and phases and an understanding of the changing nature of family life helps to make sense of why problems might emerge.

Family therapy makes use of the fact that it isn’t only what we hear and see but the way in which we hear and see it. Sometimes part of the family therapy team may observe, perhaps from another room, so that they can offer a different point of view.

We try to make the process as open, honest and transparent as possible; there are no secrets and we ask permission for everything we do. Research has shown that it allows conversations to make more progress than they otherwise would.

What difficulties is it used for?

Family therapy is recommended in the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for a number of conditions including:

  • conduct
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • self harm
  • restricted eating disorders

How long does it take?

Sometimes only a few sessions are enough to make a difference. Some difficulties, such as eating disorders, may take longer. Sessions may be weekly or less frequent, depending on the difficulty and how concerned we might be about your safety.

Who will see us?

Family therapists are qualified to Masters level and registered nationally with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). Not everyone working in family therapy clinics will be a highly qualified and registered therapist, but all of our clinicians are experienced in working with children and young people. At least one member of the team will be a qualified family therapist.

We also have clinicians who offer systemic family practice. They are not registered family therapists but have been intensively trained to use reliable therapy for self harm, depression, conduct and eating disorders.