With18 years of experience as a licensed marriage and family therapist I apply my training and expertise in Bowen family systems therapy to my work with individuals, couples, parents, and teens.
Who is helped by a family systems approach?
When relationships are stressed beyond the individuals’ abilities to cope, symptoms develop. People present in therapy with depression, anxiety, self-destructive behaviors and physical problems that are exacerbated by chronic relationship tension. Offering an individual, couple, or family a broader view of the problem that goes beyond blaming oneself or the other person can be helpful and result in improved relationships.
How does Family Systems therapy help with specific symptoms or problems?
A family systems approach views the individual’s problem to be embedded in a relationship system. This implies that there are two or more people involved in the relationship tension. Identifying the reciprocal influence people have on one another allows an individual to take responsibility for their part in the problem. A family systems approach posits that a change in one person will affect a change in the other family members, so that therapy can be effective when only one person attends. Therefore, couples therapy can involve only one member of the twosome if the other does not choose to be involved. However, when parents bring their teens to therapy it can be helpful when at least one parent is involved. As the family leaders, it is the adults who can influence other family members with the skills and knowledge learned in therapy.