HELPFUL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

FAMILY THERAPY, SYSTEMIC APPROACHES AND PRACTICE

A systemic approach considers that individuals cannot be understood in isolation from the contexts in which they are part of. For this reason, it pays attention to significant relationships, culture, spirituality, and the belief systems that give meaning to a person's actions. It has a focus on building strengths to facilitate helpful changes in respectful, nurturing and appreciative ways. 


Systemic approaches draw from communication, relational and attachment theories to develop understandings of patterns of interaction, people's actions and behaviours and how systems work. Systems are groups of people that are interconnected such as families, friends, schools, working teams, etc, but also individuals when thought about holistically in their connections with others, their environment and their bodies.  


Accredited systemic and family therapists are registered with the Association of Family Therapy (AFT) and the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). They must undergo regular training, supervision of their practice and have adequate insurance over their professional activity.

(see http://www.aft.org.uk/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/aft/file/Information%20Sheets/What%20is%20Family%20Therapy%202015%20A4%20version.pdf) 

WHAT DOES RESEARCH SAY ABOUT FAMILY THERAPY?

A 2009 review of research listed the following circumstances in which Family Therapy had been proven to be effective for children, adolescents and the important people in their lives for:

  • problems in infancy;

  • sleep, feeding and attachment;

  • for child abuse and neglect

  • child and adolescent conduct problems such as behavioural difficulties, attention and overactivity (ADHD), and delinquency

  • emotional problems including anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder and suicidality

  • body-related problems including enuresis, encopresis, recurrent abdominal pain, and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes

  • drug abuse

  • eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia and obesity.


Research reviews also indicate the effectiveness of Family Therapy for adults and families affected by: 

  • relationship difficulties, 

  • psychosexual problems, 

  • domestic violence, 

  • mood disorders: anxiety and depression; 

  • alcohol and drug abuse, 

  • schizophrenia,

  • adjustment to chronic physical illness


(See http://www.aft.org.uk/SpringboardWebApp/userfiles/aft/file/Training/WhatDoesResearchTellUs(Jan%202012).pdf) 



 

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