Family therapy works with the entire family system to create change. This specific intervention emphasizes the inter-connectedness of family members and how they see reality, themselves, and their immediate surroundings. Family therapy looks at how members of the family interact, how balance is achieved, how family feedback mechanisms operate, how dysfunctional communication patterns develop, and how boundaries are defined within the family. All family constellations are defined by the composition of its members, and each of us carries a representation of our own family, no matter how functional or dysfunctional, complete or incomplete, it may have been.
Families come to therapy for a variety of reasons, which can include: blended family problems, child/parent conflicts, chronic illness of family member, defensiveness, disengagement or loss of family cohesion, family imbalance, family of origin interference, separation/divorce, substance abuse, and traumatic life events.
Dr. Sellwood’s knowledge of human interactions and knowledge of how individuals function within family systems allows for effective and powerful interventions.
With family therapy, the therapist can identify the differences between the ways family members perceive mutual relations as well as interactional patterns that mirror habitual patterns at home. Family therapists are more interested in what goes on between individuals rather than what goes on within one person, and they are interested in the solving of problems and cohesive maintenance. Techniques include: affective confrontation, authenticity, curiosity, de-triangulation, dialogical conversation, diffusion, examining beliefs, humor, hypothesizing, modeling, re-educating, re-framing, re-orienting, re-structuring, systematic desensitization, unbalancing, and validation.