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.

Need help finding the right therapist?
Find Your Match

Meet the specialists


Family Systems therapy looks at how each individual is connected to their family, community, culture and spirituality. People are wonderfully complicated and how you end up as you is a combination of many things, relationships and events that have happened throughout your life. True healing can begin when all these parts of you are looked at and healed through love, compassion, understanding and setting healthy boundaries.

— Rachel Boyle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Henderson, NV

We all grew up with our family's influence. It's important to be able to discuss how this related to your current way of thinking and behaving

— Heather Tahler, Psychologist

Claudia was trained at the Ackerman Institute for the Family with a specialization in family systems theory. Claudia's approach to family therapy begins with a look at intergenerational patterns, and includes her expertise in trauma recovery.

— Claudia Narvaez-Meza, Psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA

My degree from LIOS/Saybrook University includes a focus in Systems Therapy. The Family Systems we are exposed to during our development informs how we look at the world, our sense of ourselves, and how the two interact. Our Family System especially informs our behavior, and learning more about how that works, and how to change our interactions with and perspectives on our family unit helps lead to change in our own behavior.

— Kelley O'Hanlon, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Redmond, WA

I am also trained in Family Systems and use this approach to help clients deal with family issues/concerns by helping them understand their roles in their families and learn how these roles affect the way they treat each other and experience the outside world.

— Camille Matthews, Therapist in Colleyville, TX

Taking a look at generational patterns that have been passed down. Understanding a client's family of origin is extremely helpful in understanding the client on a deeper level.

— Marcey Heschel, Licensed Professional Counselor in Cypress, TX

After extensive training in Bowen Family Systems theory, I am able to help patients work through complicated family dynamics and bring healing to those relationships. Work in this theory also focuses on developing a patients sense of self, giving folks a greater sense of well being empowerment.

— Olivia Bodiford, Licensed Professional 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

We explore the patterns and structures present within the family that impact relational patterns that can lead to individual behavioral and emotional struggles, as well as communication challenges. We work to build healthier patterns of interaction, and reinforce healthy structure within the family to improve the function of both the individuals and family as a whole.

— Wendy Youngsmith, Counselor in Centennial, CO

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, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in St. Paul, MN

MFT's are trained in systemic family therapy along every step of their education. I am skilled at looking at the whole picture - the "web" of each individual's life. In order to understand and meet where you are at, we will examine where you've been, and where you want to be.

— Emilie Mellal, Marriage & Family Therapist

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

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

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

Family systems theory is the foundation of my education and training. For all clients, including individuals, I look for relational patterns that often inform the direction of therapy.

— Margaret  Certain, Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA