Systematic and family Psychotherapy

In addition to the core Specialist service we have Family Therapy and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy however these services can only be referred to by CAMHS/CEIS staff not from external referrers.

Systemic and family psychotherapy – also known as family therapy – can help those in close relationships to better understand and support each other.   Family therapy is based on the idea that when there is a difficulty or worry in a family it is something that affects everyone. Communication and relationships can be impacted. The problem might be too difficult to talk about or it might get talked about in ways that are unhelpful. Relationships can become strained and it can be hard to consider solutions or think about how things might improve.

Family therapy is about creating a safe space for everyone to think about what is going on, to talk about things that are difficult to talk about. It enables family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths, and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives.

How does family Therapy work?

Some family therapists work in teams, because it’s useful to share lots of ideas for families to think about together. Others work on a solo basis.  Sometimes it only takes a few sessions to help a family find their way. Sometimes difficulties are more complicated, and families may need longer to find the solutions that work best for them.  Family therapists can see children and adults on their own or with other family members and can offer a mixture of individual and family appointments.  Family therapists use their understanding of relationships to coordinate teams when several different agencies are supporting a family.  They try to make sure that everyone is working together in a way the family finds helpful.

Some of the things a family therapist might do with a family:

Encourage everyone to talk and to listen to everyone else’s hopes for the family

  • Respect and clarify each person’s beliefs to help them understand each other better
  • Help families stop blaming each other
  • Help people understand the effect their words and actions have on others
  • Begin to explore how everyone can work together to make things better
  • Support families as they work towards their own goals

What is suitable for family therapy?

There is very little that is not suitable for family therapy. There is a growing evidence base for the effectiveness of systemic family therapy approach to many of the problems and difficulties presenting at CAMHS.

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