Family Systems

Family systems therapy is a therapeutic technique that thinks about the family as a single, emotional unit. Each action and family member affects the others. Family systems therapy focuses on families and couples in intimate relationships with a goal of nurturing change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health. A professional trained in this technique will work on understanding the relationships within a family, and create a family history that will be the foundation for how current behaviors are viewed. No individual can be understood in isolation from the others in the familial unit. Issues shared among family members, such as substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and schizophrenia are good candidates for a family systems approach. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s family systems specialists today.

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Meet the specialists

 

Family members often get stuck in repetitive patterns of interaction that can cause tremendous pain and frustration. Having someone outside the family who can see interrupt those patterns can bring surprisingly quick results.

— Gracie Landes, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Brooklyn, NY

I have experience and training working with families and their complex systems of relationships. Family systems acknowledges generational influences on family and individual behavior. Identifying multigenerational behavioral patterns, such as management of anxiety, can help people see how their current problems may be rooted in previous generations.

— Kathryn Krug, Marriage & Family Therapist in Santee, CA
 

Family systems theory is the foundation of my education and training. For all clients, including individuals, I look for relational patterns that often inform the direction of therapy.

— Margaret  Certain, Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

Family Systems therapy looks at how each individual is connected to their family, community, culture and spirituality. People are wonderfully complicated and how you end up as you is a combination of many things, relationships and events that have happened throughout your life. True healing can begin when all these parts of you are looked at and healed through love, compassion, understanding and setting healthy boundaries.

— Rachel Boyle, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Las Vegas, NV
 

The early years in which we are developing physically and emotionally are some of the most important years of our life. Because we usually spend this time with our families, family systems have a big effect on our future lives. Family systems work can happen with individual people processing their family of origin, with people in relationships with different family histories which are influencing their present actions, and with families who come to therapy together.

— Renya NeoNorton, Marriage & Family Therapist

Claudia was trained at the Ackerman Institute for the Family with a specialization in family systems theory. Claudia's approach to family therapy begins with a look at intergenerational patterns, and includes her expertise in trauma recovery.

— Claudia Narvaez-Meza, Psychotherapist in Los Angeles, CA
 

I have always strived to bring family members into the healing process, when appropriate, to ensure everyone is doing their part to help healing take place. Everyone is a part of many different systems, whether that be school, work, your social circle, ethnic groups, family, etc. All these systems come together to impact us, and ensuring we address and have awareness of these can help up figure out what we have control over and what we don't.

— Devan Briggs, Licensed Professional Counselor in Glendale, AZ

I always knew I wanted to work with individuals, but I specifically chose systemic "marriage and family" training because I value seeing my clients in context. I have also experienced being a systemic therapy client, and I valued the non-pathologizing, multifaceted approach. My graduate education, internship, and professional experience have been in systemic settings, and I seek regular supervision from my systemically-trained supervisors and consultants.

— Easin Beck, Marriage & Family Therapist in Phoenixville, PA
 

As a marriage and family therapist, I was trained to see symptoms not only in relation to the individual, but also within the context surrounding the individual. Our family, school, work, neighborhood, community, and even cultural attitudes all have an impact on the individual and my work takes into account all of these factors.

— Jacqueline 'Jackie' Abeling, Marriage & Family Therapist in ,

I have a degree in Family Therapy where with extensive training in family systems.

— LaShandra Shepard, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in ,
 

I am trained in family systems (Bowenian) approaches to therapy. By examining the patterns within the family and across generations, we can bring insight into behaviors that may be holding us back. This approach is especially useful in communities of color given our desire to maintain strong multi-generational kinship networks.

— Eldridge Greer, Clinical Psychologist in Denver, CO

Family Systems is a therapy approach that recognizes generational influences of family functioning on the individual's current behaviors & patterns, such as the management of anxiety or anger, and helps clients to see how their current problems may be rooted in previous generational patterns of relating that they experienced in their family of origin. This approach helps the client recognize, unpack and change any unhealthy patterns that are contributing to current difficulties.

— Linda L Vance, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
 

Many of our issues come from our family of origin; therefore, I help you process, analyze, and connect how our relationships with our family and ourselves impact us. I use Functional Family Therapy (FFT) concepts and approach that allows me to work with family members in addressing repetitive cycles that impact family relationships. My goal when working with families is to find solutions and openly talk about the cycles that continue to create issues within family members.

— Julio Garibay, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Gardena, CA

You’ll be listened to without any judgment. I’ll be there just for you. I’ll help to create a connection with the parts of you that are trying really hard to manage everything, despite your life feeling & unfolding way harder than you ever imagined. Through the Internal Family Systems model, we’ll work together to change how you feel about yourself. The fears you have will be honored. Your struggles will gradually transform as your own special talents come to the surface. You'll again find joy.

— Meg Coyne, Addictions Counselor
 

Family therapy can be extremely beneficial if communication is out of sync in your system. The goal of family therapy is to help create better understanding, improve communication, and foster a higher functioning home environment. Utilizing a systemic lens I view what's going on in your family as a whole system rather than it's individual parts. We collaborate to figure out how get your system working in a way that is healthy for you and your whole family.

— Jessamy Whitsitt, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA

None of us exists in a vacuum. We're embedded in systems large and small, and each of us in a family system. Often within these are our most precious and painful relationships- people who know how to push our buttons, patterns we can't seem to break. Family systems examines the push and pull of all members, acknowledging that every action is a reaction and that with awareness choice is possible.

— Polly Harrison, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

As one of the founders of family systems theory states, "That which is created in a relationship, can be fixed in a relationship." I view problems within a systemic lens and work to resolve issues by focusing on improving the relationships within that family unit.

— Rachelle Dudley, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Olympia, WA

Bowen Family Systems Theory is concentrated on eight prominent theoretical concepts: Multi-Generational Transmission Process, Nuclear Family Emotional Process, Family Projection Process, Emotional Cutoff, Sibling Position, Triangulation, Differentiation of Self, and Societal Emotional Transmission Process. I use these concepts as the overarching principles in my approach to uncovering patterns that bind anxiety and relational issues.

— Federico Mendez, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Worth, TX
 

While families can offer unique understanding and support, they can also be a source of stress and suffering. Some changes can increase stress and impact a family's relationship quality and in turn, individual members' mental health. These changes include: moves, illness, loss, or life transitions. A family approach to treatment can help you and your family improve your understanding of each other, build empathy, establish and maintain important boundaries, and strengthen your relationships.

— Thai Alonso, Psychologist in Watchung, NJ