Family Therapy

Simply stated, the goal of strategic family therapy is to solve the presenting problem. There is usually a “client” that is presenting for problem solving, however, with strategic family therapy, the focus is on the family and how the interactional patterns may be contributing to the presenting problem. The work progresses through a series of stages, which leads ultimately to goal setting and task setting. We begin by creating a calm, open mood, and attempting to get every family member to take part in the session.

As with other evidence-based methods, family therapy goals are set with an underlying value on deep, honest and authentic communication. Family therapy does not focus on early history taking or pathologizing individuals. We work to improve the way the family relates in the here and now, within the session. By virtue of the interactions (both verbal and non-verbal), we attend to direct and covert communication patterns and how they influence outcomes. We consider learning new communication modalities, language, and practicing new behavior to instill respect for one another and support individual competencies. Homework is essential for all family members-it is a community process. Skills training on parenting and child rearing is usually included to allow role shifts between parents and children, to restore the family hierarchy.

Family therapy is dynamic, directive, and action oriented. The underlying premise of family therapy is that families exist as systems and all members interact in a manner consistent with the maintenance of that system, although each member’s role is unique. Bringing the system back into a functional equilibrium for the mutual good of all members is the ultimate vision of family therapy.