Family Therapy

What is family therapy?

A family is a bit like a football team or a group. When everyone is getting on well things are okay. If someone is upset or angry or injured then the rest of the team is worried and doesn't play so well. All sorts of things can affect a family and how they get on together. When a family comes to see the Family Therapy Service together, we help them learn how to help each other to solve problems.

Who would come?

Anyone in the family who is concerned about how things are going will come with you to family therapy. Think about the people who live with you. Who would you most like to be on your team? Does your family have supporters or fans? Is there anyone else who would have something important to say about how your family is working together? People may have different ideas about what would help. We think it is important to hear different ideas and talk together. This can help work out how things could change.

Who will I see and what happens when we get there?

Family therapists often work as part of a small team. The team will usually be sitting behind a special mirror. You can have a turn at looking through the mirror.

We like to record what happens in the room. Football coaches do this too. It helps us think about how we can help you and your family. We would only do this if your family agrees. We won't show the tape or DVD to people outside CAMHS without your permission.

We may see young people and their parents together or by themselves at different times. Talking and listening together helps the family understand how each person sees their place in the team and helps the family work together better.

Why is there a Family Therapy Team?

It is a bit like having a team of coaches to help your family team. The team is not there to judge you but to help you and your family find ways of doing things differently. You will get to meet the team before the session starts.

What is the goal?

When you come to see us everyone will get a chance to say what they want to change. This helps us know what is important for your family.

Family therapy - Joe's story

Family Therapy is really good fun - we all went to see the family therapists, my mum, dad, brother and baby sister. At first it's was really weird as there were all these people watching us through a screen, but they came and said hello at the beginning and seemed really friendly. I really enjoyed it, we all took turns answering questions, and they even asked my baby sister questions which I answered for her because she can't speak yet. It was the first time I've ever really talked about what was bothering me and how I couldn't' go to school because I was worried about my mum. Then the team came into the room and talked about what we had been saying. They said really nice things about my family and that they thought we were going to be OK but that they would like to help us some more for a while. I really enjoyed going there and talking about stuff. I kind of miss it now but things are much better at home and mum is happier so I feel able to go to school. Go on, try it!


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This page was last updated: 2008-12-18 11:34 AM

Listen to someone who has had family therapy