The Basics of Family Therapy

Therapist speaking to coupleFamily therapy is a part of psychotherapy aimed at nurturing and bettering family and couple relationships. A family therapist facilitates conversation to improve family connections. These specialists also act as a catalyst to strengthen family relationships.
There are various techniques used in family counseling in Westport, Connecticut that could help families going through difficult times. Structural family therapy is one of the most effective and commonly used methods. Here are the fundamental concepts of this family counseling technique.

Family Subsystems

The primary types of subsystems in a family include the children, parents and extended family. Each member of the family plays a separate role in the subsystem and has a defined role. Intruding a specific subsystem or overlapping functions is one of the causes of strained family relationships and conflicts. The therapist seeks to establish everyone’s role and hierarchy in the subsystem for a cohesive bond.

Family Structure

This refers to the rules which govern the social interactions of family members and these differ among different families. These social interaction rules govern the way families communicate and interact. Repeated interactions enhance lasting family relationships. The problems in a family can be caused by a disruption in the family structure or a non-functional family structure. Therapy, therefore, seeks to modify the family structure to a functional one which works for everyone.


These are invisible barriers which protect subsystems and control who or what gets in and out to minimize conflicts. Rigid and diffuse boundaries are the two forms of limitations. Rigid boundaries permit little contact between family members and hence they become isolated. Diffuse boundaries are mostly unclear, and it is easy for members to overstep their limits. Therapy, therefore, aims to foster a clear boundary for a healthy relationship.

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Other counseling techniques in family therapy include strategic, systemic, transgenerational and communication therapies. The perfect counseling technique for your family depends on your issues. With the right technique and a qualified therapist, you can be assured of creating a healthy family relationship and dynamic.