family therapy

Last reviewed 01/2018

Group psychotherapy seeks to create a social context for treatment of an individual. In family therapy the aim is either to use the family as the social context in which an individual is treated, or to regard the 'family' itself as the patient. Family therapy involves treatment of two or more related members, who may represent one or two generations of a family. In couple, or marital therapy, the principles of family therapy are applied to a marital couple, or those in an equivalent relationship.

One of the basic ideas is that the rules that connect the parts of the system - in this case the family - are as important as the components of the system - the members of the family.

In family therapy the main aims of the therapeutic regimen may be supportive, restoration or reconstructive.