International dietetics and nutrition terminology 4th edition
Family therapy , also referred to as couple and family therapy , marriage and family therapy , family systems therapy , and family counseling , is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development.
It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. The different schools of family therapy have in common a belief that, regardless of the origin of the problem, and regardless of whether the clients consider it an "individual" or "family" issue, involving families in solutions often benefits clients.
This involvement of families is commonly accomplished by their direct participation in the therapy session. The skills of the family therapist thus include the ability to influence conversations in a way that catalyses the strengths, wisdom, and support of the wider system. In the field's early years, many clinicians defined the family in a narrow, traditional manner usually including parents and children.
As the field has evolved, the concept of the family is more commonly defined in terms of strongly supportive, long-term roles and relationships between people who may or may not be related by blood or marriage. The conceptual frameworks developed by family therapists, especially those of family systems theorists , have been applied to a wide range of human behavior, including organisational dynamics and the study of greatness.
Formal interventions with families to help individuals and families experiencing various kinds of problems have been a part of many cultures, probably throughout history.
These interventions have sometimes involved formal procedures or rituals, and often included the extended family as well as non- kin members of the community see for example Ho'oponopono. Following the emergence of specialization in various societies, these interventions were often conducted by particular members of a community — for example, a chief , priest , physician , and so on - usually as an ancillary function.
Family therapy as a distinct professional practice within Western cultures can be argued to have had its origins in the social work movements of the 19th century in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Liebermann - who began seeing family members together for observation or therapy sessions. The movement received an important boost starting in the early s through the work of anthropologist Gregory Bateson and colleagues — Jay Haley , Donald D. Jackson , John Weakland , William Fry, and later, Virginia Satir , Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy , Paul Watzlawick and others — at Palo Alto in the United States, who introduced ideas from cybernetics and general systems theory into social psychology and psychotherapy , focusing in particular on the role of communication see Bateson Project.
This group was also influenced significantly by the work of US psychiatrist , hypnotherapist , and brief therapist , Milton H. Erickson - especially his innovative use of strategies for change, such as paradoxical directives see also Reverse psychology. The members of the Bateson Project like the founders of a number of other schools of family therapy, including Carl Whitaker , Murray Bowen , and Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy had a particular interest in the possible psychosocial causes and treatment of schizophrenia , especially in terms of the putative "meaning" and "function" of signs and symptoms within the family system.
The research of psychiatrists and psychoanalysts Lyman Wynne and Theodore Lidz on communication deviance and roles e. See also double bind ; family nexus. By the mids, a number of distinct schools of family therapy had emerged.
From those groups that were most strongly influenced by cybernetics and systems theory , there came MRI Brief Therapy , and slightly later, strategic therapy , Salvador Minuchin 's Structural Family Therapy and the Milan systems model. Partly in reaction to some aspects of these systemic models, came the experiential approaches of Virginia Satir and Carl Whitaker , which downplayed theoretical constructs, and emphasized subjective experience and unexpressed feelings including the subconscious , authentic communication, spontaneity, creativity, total therapist engagement, and often included the extended family.
Concurrently and somewhat independently, there emerged the various intergenerational therapies of Murray Bowen , Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy , James Framo , and Norman Paul, which present different theories about the intergenerational transmission of health and dysfunction , but which all deal usually with at least three generations of a family in person or conceptually , either directly in therapy sessions, or via "homework" , "journeys home" , etc.
Multiple-family group therapy , a precursor of psychoeducational family intervention , emerged, in part, as a pragmatic alternative form of intervention - especially as an adjunct to the treatment of serious mental disorders with a significant biological basis, such as schizophrenia - and represented something of a conceptual challenge to some of the "systemic" and thus potentially "family-blaming" paradigms of pathogenesis that were implicit in many of the dominant models of family therapy.
The lates and earlys saw the development of network therapy which bears some resemblance to traditional practices such as Ho'oponopono by Ross Speck and Carolyn Attneave, and the emergence of behavioral marital therapy renamed behavioral couples therapy in the s; see also relationship counseling and behavioral family therapy as models in their own right. By the lates, the weight of clinical experience - especially in relation to the treatment of serious mental disorders - had led to some revision of a number of the original models and a moderation of some of the earlier stridency and theoretical purism.
There were the beginnings of a general softening of the strict demarcations between schools, with moves toward rapprochement , integration, and eclecticism — although there was, nevertheless, some hardening of positions within some schools. These trends were reflected in and influenced by lively debates within the field and critiques from various sources, including feminism and post-modernism , that reflected in part the cultural and political tenor of the times, and which foreshadowed the emergence in the s and s of the various "post-systems" constructivist and social constructionist approaches.
While there was still debate within the field about whether, or to what degree, the systemic-constructivist and medical-biological paradigms were necessarily antithetical to each other see also Anti-psychiatry ; Biopsychosocial model , there was a growing willingness and tendency on the part of family therapists to work in multi-modal clinical partnerships with other members of the helping and medical professions.
From the mids to the present, the field has been marked by a diversity of approaches that partly reflect the original schools, but which also draw on other theories and methods from individual psychotherapy and elsewhere — these approaches and sources include: brief therapy , structural therapy , constructivist approaches e. Karl Tomm's IPscope model and Interventive interviewing , solution-focused therapy , narrative therapy , a range of cognitive and behavioral approaches, psychodynamic and object relations approaches, attachment and emotionally focused therapy , intergenerational approaches, network therapy , and multisystemic therapy MST.
The Liberation Based Healing framework for family therapy offers a complete paradigm shift for working with families while addressing the intersections of race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation and other socio-political identity markers.
Traditional Western models of family therapy have historically ignored these dimensions and when white, male privilege has been critiqued, largely by feminist theory practitioners, it has often been to the benefit of middle class, white women's experiences. Liberatory practices are based on the principles of Critical-Consciousness , Accountability and Empowerment.
These principles guide not only the content of the therapeutic work with clients but also the supervisory and training process of therapists. Rhea Almeida, developed the Cultural Context Model as a way to operationalize these concepts into practice through the integration of culture circles, sponsors, and a socio-educational process within the therapeutic work. Ideas and methods from family therapy have been influential in psychotherapy generally: a survey of over 2, US therapists in revealed that of the 10 most influential therapists of the previous quarter-century, three were prominent family therapists and that the marital and family systems model was the second most utilized model after cognitive behavioral therapy.
Family therapy uses a range of counseling and other techniques including:. The number of sessions depends on the situation, but the average is sessions. A family therapist usually meets several members of the family at the same time. This has the advantage of making differences between the ways family members perceive mutual relations as well as interaction patterns in the session apparent both for the therapist and the family. These patterns frequently mirror habitual interaction patterns at home, even though the therapist is now incorporated into the family system.
Therapy interventions usually focus on relationship patterns rather than on analyzing impulses of the unconscious mind or early childhood trauma of individuals as a Freudian therapist would do - although some schools of family therapy, for example psychodynamic and intergenerational , do consider such individual and historical factors thus embracing both linear and circular causation and they may use instruments such as the genogram to help to elucidate the patterns of relationship across generations.
The distinctive feature of family therapy is its perspective and analytical framework rather than the number of people present at a therapy session. Specifically, family therapists are relational therapists: They are generally more interested in what goes on between individuals rather than within one or more individuals, although some family therapists—in particular those who identify as psychodynamic , object relations , intergenerational , or experiential family therapists EFTs —tend to be as interested in individuals as in the systems those individuals and their relationships constitute.
Depending on the conflicts at issue and the progress of therapy to date, a therapist may focus on analyzing specific previous instances of conflict, as by reviewing a past incident and suggesting alternative ways family members might have responded to one another during it, or instead proceed directly to addressing the sources of conflict at a more abstract level, as by pointing out patterns of interaction that the family might have not noticed.
Some families may perceive cause-effect analyses as attempts to allocate blame to one or more individuals, with the effect that for many families a focus on causation is of little or no clinical utility. It is important to note that a circular way of problem evaluation is used as opposed to a linear route.
Using this method, families can be helped by finding patterns of behaviour, what the causes are, and what can be done to better their situation. Family therapy has an evolving evidence base. The website also includes quantitative and qualitative research studies of many aspects of family therapy. According to a French government study conducted by French Institute of Health and Medical Research , family and couples therapy was the second most effective therapy after Cognitive behavioral therapy.
Of the treatments studied, family therapy was presumed or proven effective at treating schizophrenia , bipolar disorder , anorexia and alcohol dependency. The late Frank Pittman, MD , had practiced marriage and family therapy in Atlanta, Georgia for 33 years when he wrote:.
Some therapists listen without comment to tales of violence, substance abuse, infidelity, even incest. Their silence is tacit approval. Some therapists do worse than silently accept whatever the customer says or does; some actively affirm that the customer is always right.
Therapists, as they ingratiate themselves to their customers, may actually provide 'interpretations' to relieve clients of the guilt they need in order to keep them from hurting others and bringing disaster upon themselves I am a committed marriage and family therapist, having practiced this form of therapy since I train marriage and family therapists.
I believe that marriage therapy can be very helpful in the hands of therapists who are committed to the profession and the practice. But there are a lot of problems out there with the practice of therapy - a lot of problems. Doherty suggested questions prospective clients should ask a therapist before beginning treatment: . In the United Kingdom , family therapists will have a prior relevant professional training in one of the helping professions usually psychologists , psychotherapists , or counselors who have done further training in family therapy, either a diploma or an M.
In the United States there is a specific degree and license as a marriage and family therapist; however, psychologists , nurses , psychotherapists , social workers , or counselors , and other licensed mental health professionals may practice family therapy. A master's degree is required to work as an MFT in some American states.
Most commonly, MFTs will first earn a M. After graduation, prospective MFTs work as interns under the supervision of a licensed professional and are referred to as an MFTi. Prior to in California , counselors who specialized in this area were called Marriage, Family and Child Counselors. Today, they are known as Marriage and Family Therapists MFT , and work variously in private practice, in clinical settings such as hospitals, institutions, or counseling organizations.
Requirements vary, but in most states about hours of supervised work as an intern are needed to sit for a licensing exam.
MFTs must be licensed by the state to practice. Only after completing their education and internship and passing the state licensing exam can a person call themselves a Marital and Family Therapist and work unsupervised.
License restrictions can vary considerably from state to state. Contact information about licensing boards in the United States are provided by the Association of Marital and Family Regulatory Boards. There have been concerns raised within the profession about the fact that specialist training in couples therapy — as distinct from family therapy in general - is not required to gain a license as an MFT or membership of the main professional body, the AAMFT.
Since issues of interpersonal conflict, power, control, values, and ethics are often more pronounced in relationship therapy than in individual therapy, there has been debate within the profession about the different values that are implicit in the various theoretical models of therapy and the role of the therapist's own values in the therapeutic process, and how prospective clients should best go about finding a therapist whose values and objectives are most consistent with their own.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy requires members to adhere to a "Code of Ethics", including a commitment to "continue therapeutic relationships only so long as it is reasonably clear that clients are benefiting from the relationship. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
For other uses, see Family system disambiguation. Apsche family mode deactivation therapy , FMDT Gregory Bateson — cybernetics , systems theory Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy contextual therapy , intergenerational, relational ethics Murray Bowen systems theory , intergenerational Steve de Shazer solution focused therapy Milton H.
Erickson hypnotherapy , strategic therapy , brief therapy Richard Fisch brief therapy , strategic therapy James Framo object relations theory , intergenerational Edwin Friedman family process in religious congregations Harry Goolishian postmodern collaborative therapy and collaborative language systems John Gottman marriage Robert-Jay Green LGBT , cross-cultural issues Douglas Haldane Attachment-based couple therapist Jay Haley strategic therapy , communications Lynn Hoffman strategic , post-systems, collaborative Don D.
Jackson systems theory Sue Johnson emotionally focused therapy , attachment theory Walter Kempler Gestalt psychology Cloe Madanes strategic therapy Salvador Minuchin structural family therapy Braulio Montalvo structural family therapy  Virginia Satir communications, experiential, conjoint and co-therapy Mara Selvini Palazzoli Milan systems Karl Tomm IPscope model and interventive interviewing, Bringforthism Robin Skynner group analysis Paul Watzlawick brief therapy , systems theory John Weakland brief therapy, strategic therapy, systems theory Carl Whitaker family systems , experiential, co-therapy Michael White narrative therapy Lyman Wynne schizophrenia, pseudomutuality.
Kniskern Eds. Family Theory and Therapy. In Sholevar, G. Psychiatry Inside the Family Circle. Saturday Evening Post , Systems Theory, Cybernetics, and Epistemology. Family therapy: A systemic integration. Basic family therapy ; 5th edition. Family therapy: concepts and methods. Journal of Family Therapy. Guildford Press: New York. Family Process. Multisystemic therapy. Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders.
Transcultural Psychiatric Research Review.