Family Therapists aim to adopt an approach that does not take sides or blame individuals, but instead engages families in sharing understanding and views with each other -encouraging them to discuss the problems that are putting a strain on their relationships. By giving everyone an opportunity to contribute to discussion, family therapy enables family members to explore ways forward that will work for them as a unit.
Who attends sessions can vary depending on the goals of therapy and sometimes individual sessions are offered to supplement the family meetings. These can be particularly beneficial in order to decide on the best ways to express someones thoughts and feelings with others. In family therapy involving parents and children, therapists may wish to chat with parents or children separately following family sessions.
Some Family Therapists work individually. Others work in teams or in partnership with colleagues because it is useful to share lots of ideas for families to think about together. Sometimes these colleagues sit behind a one-way mirror or screen to watch therapist and family talk together and then share reflections and explore possibilities. Many families say they find this ‘team’ approach to complex difficulties very helpful.