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Flashcards in Family therapy Deck (4)
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Underlying Theory

- Works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development- Views change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members- Emphasises family relationships as an important factor to psychological health


Techniques and Strategies

Techniques and strategiesFamily therapy uses a range of counseling and other techniques including:Structural therapy - Identifies and Re-Orders the organisation of the family systemStrategic therapy - Looks at patterns of interactions between family membersSystemic/Milan therapy - Focuses on belief systemsNarrative Therapy - Restoring of dominant problem-saturated narrative, emphasis on context, separation of the problem from the personTransgenerational Therapy - Transgenerational transmission of unhelpful patterns of belief and behaviour.• communication theory• media and communications psychology• psychoeducation• psychotherapy• relationship counseling• relationship education• systemic coaching• systems theory• reality therapy• attachment-focused family therapy• the genogram



- Enables family members, couples and others to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely


Evidence base

Carr (2009a) concludes that evidence supports the effectiveness of systemic interventions either alone or as part of multimodal programmes for:
• sleep, feeding and attachment
• problems in infancy;
• child abuse and neglect;
• conduct problems .
• childhood behavioural difficulties,
• attention and overactivity (ADHD),
• delinquency and drug abuse;
• emotional problems (including anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder and suicidality);
• eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia and obesity); somatic problems (including enuresis, encopresis, recurrent abdominal pain, and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes).

For example Cottrell and Boston (2002) concluded that family interventions are effective for:
Conduct disorders;
Substance misuse; and
Eating disorders; and as a second-line treatment for depression and chronic illness.

Asen (2002), from a more selective review, also concludes that there is strong evidence for using Family Therapy with conduct problems of children and eating problems in adolescence.

Family therapy with adultsSydow et al.2010 report specifically on systemic therapy for ‘mental disorders’ rather than the broad definition of family therapy and systemic interventions adopted by Carr (2009b) .

Their meta-content analysis of RCTs published in English, German, Spanish, and Chinese found that systemic therapy was efficacious for the treatment of:
• mood disorders,
• eating disorders,
• substance use disorders,
• mental and social factors related to medical conditions and physical disorders,
• schizophrenia.

Systemic therapy may also be efficacious for anxiety disordersIn the second of his linked articles, reviewing therapy with adults, Carr (2009b) found good support for Family Therapy in the following range:
• relationship distress,
• psychosexual problems,
• domestic violence,
• anxiety disorders,
• mood disorders,
• alcohol abuse,
• schizophrenia,
• adjustment to chronic physical illness.,