What is Family Therapy?
When children or their parents have difficulties Family Therapy can help to find a new way forward. It is based on the belief that every family has their own unique strengths. The therapist will ask questions to help the family identify their own particular strengths and resources. In our experience this can help families gain a different understanding of the problem and find new ways of coping.
Family therapy does not seek to find fault or to blame the family, or any family member, for the situation they are facing. It is not about telling people what to do. Through talking and listening we try to reach a better understanding and find a new way of managing which suits each family.
Family therapy can be effective in helping children and young people with a range of difficulties, including divorce, separation loss and bereavement, anxiety, depression, eating disorders and difficulties and behavioural problems.
Who should come?
Families join us in making a decision about who they would like to come to the meetings. We are available to discuss this with the family if they have any dilemmas about who to invite. Families are free to bring members of the household who are not biologically related, members of the extended family, friends who have been supportive or another professional who is working with them. We realise that bringing the whole family can present with difficulties if, for example, a sibling has to miss school or a parent has to have time off work. We do, however, consider it very important, particularly in the first meeting, to hear everyone's point of view. We can work with you to try to find the most convenient time for appointments.
Families join us in making decision about the number and frequency of appointments. This varies according to the family's difficulties and their wishes. Most commonly we meet with family every 2-4 weeks. Some families only require a few appointments, others meet with us for longer.
Who will you meet?
You will meet with therapists experienced with working with children in the context of their families. You may meet with more than one therapist. This is very helpful in keeping the different points of view in mind and helps to generate a wider variety of potentially useful ideas.
How private is it?
Your family will not be discussed with anyone outside our team without your permission. We consider it important to let the family doctor know we are seeing you or, if you have been referred by another professional we like to keep in touch to let them know how things are going. We would decide this together with you when we meet.
If we thought there were risks of harm to anyone we are compelled to make an exception and share our concerns with the appropriate agencies. Even in these circumstances we would strive to discuss this with you before disclosing confidential information.