The aim of family therapy is to reduce distress and conflict by improving the interactions between family members. Unlike individual therapy, which emphasises individual psychological well-being, family therapy emphasises the relationships within the family unit. This therapy can be short-term or long-term and can include all family members or just those who are willing and able to attend.
The approach is based on the premise that families are a unique social system with their own structure and communication patterns and that individuals cannot be understood in isolation. Problems are viewed as patterns or systems that need adjusting, as opposed to viewing problems as residing in the individual, which is the focus of individual therapy.
The goals of family therapy can vary depending on the family’s needs and the approach of the therapist. The effectiveness of the therapy largely depends on the family’s commitment, the specific issues at hand, and the skill and approach of the therapist.