Family Systems Therapy is based on a theory that views the family as an “emotional unit,” where each individual’s behavior cannot be understood in isolation from its family unit. This theory was introduced by Dr. Murray Bowen, and contends that a family is a system in which each member has a role to play and rules to respect. Within the boundaries of the system, certain predictable behavior patterns develop. Maintaining these patterns may lead to balance in the family system, but also to dysfunction. In Family Systems Therapy we examine the structure and behavior of family members (the broader system) to understand the character of the individual. This understanding of the challenges of the family system can help normalize the behavior in the family.
After a divorce, we feel lost and confused about who we really are. The Family Systems approach to therapy helps us understand our marital family system, and takes us on a journey to define who we want to become after divorce.
Co-parenting becomes more challenging when our children become part of a blended family. Looking at the changes in their lives through a family systems lens helps us to understand their reactions to step-parents and gives us the tools to redefine the rules for our blended family.
Action-oriented people are aided by observing the current state of the family and examining how the entire family system led to this current state. Clarifying how each family member arrived at their level of functioning in the family helps us to pinpoint where to focus on changes for the future.