Family therapy is a branch of psychotherapy that focuses specifically on family relationships. It works from the premise that a problem lies within the family as a whole, rather than with a single person within the family unit. It helps family members help each other and work things out together. It can be beneficial in enabling family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, to deepen their understanding of each other, to appreciate each other’s needs better and make changes in their lives.
Family therapists use the term “family” to describe active long term relationships between people who consider themselves as such, irrelevant as to whether related by blood or not. As well as parents and children of all ages, they may work with grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts, cousins, friends, carers and other professionals – whoever people identify as important to their lives. They may see children and adults individually and/or in groups.
Family Therapy may be beneficial for children, young people and adults experiencing a wide range of relationship difficulties and life events. The types of problems family therapists work with include relationship difficulties, divorce and separation, illness in parents or children, bereavement, school and college difficulties and other life-changes that cause upset and pain.
The therapists are highly skilled professionals, who have been trained to work with children, young people, adults, carers and other professionals. Only fully qualified family therapists are eligible to register as accredited Family and Systemic Psychotherapists with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).
The therapists’ aim is to remain impartial throughout the process, and not to provide simple answers to problems and questions. They aim to actively engage all participants in sharing experiences and points of view and exploring ways forward that work for them. They take into consideration the family’s wider economic, social, cultural, political, and religious background, while respecting each individual's different perspectives, beliefs, views and stories.
Our therapists are bound by a duty of confidentiality, unless circumstances suggest that the issues being discussed may pose a risk to clients or the wider community. Such issues include domestic abuse, child protection, money laundering and terrorism. In all circumstances, care is taken to protect confidentiality and no disclosure will be made without discussing the issues first, unless there is an urgent risk of harm.
The service was hugely helpful and really benefited our family at a time of distress and anxiety in our lives.
Relationships Scotland Family Mediation Tayside and Fife is the operating name of Family Mediation Tayside and Fife