Family Systems

Family systems therapy is a therapeutic technique that thinks about the family as a single, emotional unit. Each action and family member affects the others. Family systems therapy focuses on families and couples in intimate relationships with a goal of nurturing change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. A professional trained in this technique will work on understanding the relationships within a family, and create a family history that will be the foundation for how current behaviors are viewed. No individual can be understood in isolation from the others in the familial unit. Issues shared among family members, such as substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and schizophrenia are good candidates for a family systems approach. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s family systems specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

The early years in which we are developing physically and emotionally are some of the most important years of our life. Because we usually spend this time with our families, family systems have a big effect on our future lives. Family systems work can happen with individual people processing their family of origin, with people in relationships with different family histories which are influencing their present actions, and with families who come to therapy together.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist

My background in recovery and work in a treatment setting has given me thorough knowledge and appreciation for using a family systems approach in therapy. This means I will understand you through the lens of the family you come from, how those roles, messages, rules, and experiences have helped to shape who you are, your relationships, and how to facilitate healing in these areas.

— Stephanie Baldwin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Hillsborough, NC
 

I graduated with distinction from my Master's program in the study of family systems. Where traditional psychology looks inward towards the individual, family systems says the individual cannot be known until we know what systems they belong to. These systems start with the family, but also expand into community, state, country, and all manner of cultural systems. Exploring through a systems lens can often help an individual understand their identity in a stronger way.

— Timothy Rasmussen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Seattle, WA

I am adept with working with in family and the complicated patterns of behavior that can exist between members. I am particularly adept at help adult parent/adult child estrangement - helping the parent understand why a child would choose estrangement, and working towards healing that relationship.

— Sean Hutchens, Licensed Professional Counselor in Lowell, AR
 

I am trained in family systems (Bowenian) approaches to therapy. By examining the patterns within the family and across generations, we can bring insight into behaviors that may be holding us back. This approach is especially useful in communities of color given our desire to maintain strong multi-generational kinship networks.

— Eldridge Greer, Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO

I have taken several trainings by top clinicians in the field and have integrated this approach into many of my sessions throughout my time as a counselor.

— Martin Avellaneda, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
 

I've worked with families from many different backgrounds and I find that addressing issues relating to the family and one's role in the family is some of the most important work we'll do. Stress and transitions often bring wounds and experiences from the past to the surface so exploring family patterns and family functioning will help you gain clarity from the past and also how it impacts the present.

— Jillian Zamora, Associate Clinical Social Worker

I received specific training in understanding how each member can impact a family system and have worked on balancing out a system in the best interest of each family member.

— Martin Avellaneda, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
 

I consider various systems that each person experiences in order to see the bigger picture. Each person is influenced by their family, community, school, location, etc. We are all affected by the world around us, and often our family systems are templates we use for other relationships.

— Coriann Papazian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA

By using evidence-based approaches like The Gottman Method and Bowen Family Systems, I can help you create new ways of relating to one another. You’ll learn to reduce conflict, improve communication, and rebuild. You’ll reconnect. At the end of each session, my goal is for you to leave with something concrete to apply daily. It might be something new to try or think about, something to read, or a new tool to begin using. These small steps will add up to the big changes you need to repair, reb

— Darrin Pfannenstiel, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate in Dallas, TX
 

Systems Theory is not necessarily about doing therapy with an entire family (who has time for that?). A look at your family system is like seeing the inner workings of a clock. We have much more information about how and why you are the cog shaped the way you are shaped, when we look at the functioning of the entire clock. What's magical is, by changing how you are shaped, or how you behave, you can't help but affect the shape (behavior) of all the cogs in your family, workplace or community!

— Kathryn Gates, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX

I trained in family systems (structural family systems) in my experience working with children and families and was part of the training program at CHA/Harvard Postdoctoral Fellowship. I use my experience with family system approaches to support clients to change and improve their relationships (with their spouse, family, friends), improve their parenting skills and make changes in other relationships such as with their medical team or colleagues at work.

— Amelia Swanson, Clinical Psychologist in Chicago, IL
 

I enjoy helping clients process how they impact and are impacted by systems. Spanning ancestral, societal, interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts, we can discuss how you relate. I acknowledge that compassionate relationships to the whole comes with building capacity for accountability, boundaries and acknowledgement of power differentials.

— Maya Mineoi, Mental Health Practitioner in St. Paul, MN

I use a style that focuses on the things and relationships in our lives that bring meaning. Here we look at what brings us joy and what brings us distress. This helps us see what we have used to create meaning and purpose in our lives.

— Cillian Green, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Evanston, IL
 

Individuals do not exist in isolation and are intricately connected within the complex web of family dynamics. I believe that understanding these intricate relationships and patterns is crucial for promoting healing and awareness of how your family of origin, family dynamics and upbringing, have influenced you today.

— Lauren Schechter, Psychotherapist in Philadelphia, PA

General systems theory emphasizes that a group, family, or even individual cannot be wholly explained by looking at just one part or one angle of influence. We are not simply a combination of our circumstances, the same way that it is limiting to consider a single perspective. Yams is trained in considering the intersection of identities, communities, and overall society on the issues that arise in therapy and helping you navigate that web.

— Kameryn "Yams" Rose, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in , CA