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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Family therapy is the therapy that is the closest to my heart. I am fascinated by families and I always have been. It was the first therapy that I started practicing as a clinician, and the first graduate degree I obtained was from The University of Kentucky, an AAAMFT approved program. The complexity of the family system is such a thing to behold, even when in crisis.

— Paige L. Freeman, Ph.D., PLLC, Psychologist in Houston, TX

I always knew I wanted to work with individuals, but I specifically chose systemic "marriage and family" training because I value seeing my clients in context. I have also experienced being a systemic therapy client, and I valued the non-pathologizing, multifaceted approach. My graduate education, internship, and professional experience have been in systemic settings, and I seek regular supervision from my systemically-trained supervisors and consultants.

— Easin Beck, Marriage & Family Therapist in Phoenixville, PA

As one of the founders of family systems theory states, "That which is created in a relationship, can be fixed in a relationship." I view problems within a systemic lens and work to resolve issues by focusing on improving the relationships within that family unit.

— Rachelle Dudley, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Olympia, WA

As a marriage and family therapist by training, I see people as a make up of systems. They come from a family, a friendship group, a community. I understand that lasting change often means the system has to change. I strive to support people as they navigate what they can and cannot control to step into a life that serves them.

— Elisa Blair, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

I work with families as a whole. I have experience with step family, adoptive family, and non-traditional family scenarios.

— Megan Johnston, Licensed Clinical Social Worker - Candidate in Gainesville, FL

I use my training in Family Systems to conceptualize presenting problems you may have in a relational way, rather than approaching one person as the "identified patient" thought to be the one with the mental disorder. When a problem is viewed as relational rather than as one person's "fault", we can discover new ways of healing such as identifying intergenerational trauma, creating better boundaries, learning communication skills, and cultivating more honesty, safety and ease in relationships.

— Grace Norberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oak Park, IL

As a marriage and family therapist my primary training and expertise is in family systems and working with relationship dynamics.

— Alana Ogilvie, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

As a marriage and family therapist, I was trained to see symptoms not only in relation to the individual, but also within the context surrounding the individual. Our family, school, work, neighborhood, community, and even cultural attitudes all have an impact on the individual and my work takes into account all of these factors.

— Jacqueline 'Jackie' Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

The model I use to conceptualize treatment for families is the Satir Model. This model is greatly influenced by communications theory, and it espouses that family relationships consist of repetitive patterns of interactions. The model emphasizes family connection, communication, and emotional experiencing. It is an integrative, humanistic, experiential, here-and-now approach focusing on personal validation.

— Devona Stalnaker-Shofner, Licensed Professional Counselor

I help clients look through their family of origin connections to help them discover their sources of anxiety, stress, and how those connections influence their present choices

— William Hemphill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Decatur, GA

In working with individuals, I am an avid believer that individuals are heavily influenced by their particular family units, whether that be communication styles, emotional identification, or relationships with particular family members. My goal as a counselor is to explore how past experiences in the family unit are currently influencing an individual and their level of functioning/processing.

— Meagan Fischer, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Tyler, TX

Bowen Family Systems Theory is concentrated on eight prominent theoretical concepts: Multi-Generational Transmission Process, Nuclear Family Emotional Process, Family Projection Process, Emotional Cutoff, Sibling Position, Triangulation, Differentiation of Self, and Societal Emotional Transmission Process. I use these concepts as the overarching principles in my approach to uncovering patterns that bind anxiety and relational issues.

— Federico Mendez, Marriage and Family Therapist Associate in North Richland Hills, TX

I have always strived to bring family members into the healing process, when appropriate, to ensure everyone is doing their part to help healing take place. Everyone is a part of many different systems, whether that be school, work, your social circle, ethnic groups, family, etc. All these systems come together to impact us, and ensuring we address and have awareness of these can help up figure out what we have control over and what we don't.

— Devan Briggs, Licensed Professional Counselor in Glendale, AZ