Family Therapy Overview
Family Therapy (FT) is a collection of family-based psychotherapeutic interventions largely recommended for use within a standard family setting or during patient education. Customarily, the characteristic FT-based resolutions recommended by respective mental health experts are basically founded on systems theory and any accompanying conceptual subsets. This conceptual basis currently guides Family Therapy in addressing specific psychiatric problems known to beleaguer individual mental health patients based on the broad application of the extremely advanced therapy modes.
Consequently, Family Therapy’s implementation of a sophisticated conceptual framework also informs his decision-making process. It places profound emphasis on therapists’ proclivity to keenly focus on pre-exiting relationship patterns within a client’s family, and the socio-cultural setting of normal human interactions. This explains Family Therapy’s concentration on interactional models based on their existence within a family setting. They are the harnessed to, essentially, defuse longstanding tensions present among individual members while seeking to reform a defective organizational setup. Each individual interposition is applied with the penultimate intent of behavior modification, enhancing participants’ individual cognitive aptitude, and fostering emotional intelligence with the aim of improving members’ problem-solving capacity.
Family Therapy Background
Ideas currently associated with contemporary Family Therapy were developed during the second half of the 20th century as a distinct school of thought, contrasting the then eminent Freudian perspectives permeating popular psychotherapeutic discourse during this period in history. FT was, therefore, a novel psychotherapeutic modality; primarily banking on family involvement as a crucial element to consider when attempting to solve individual or collective problems with specific units. FT drifted away from the widely-publicized Freudian dependence on the didactic patient-doctor relationship as a basic foundation for solutions to psycho-social problems (Beal, 2015). The subsequent integration of FT as a valid psychotherapeutic school of thought and therapeutic modality represented a radical and revolutionary period since its foundation was on the idea that pathology is subjective and occurs autonomously within an individual.
The accompanying development and specialization of Family Therapy were further bolstered by the involvement of prominent cohorts, such as John Bowlby, Gregory Bateson, and Murray Bowen, who clamored for the integration of an elaborate theoretical framework informing its modus operandi. This concept would eventually go on to legitimize family therapy theories as key defining frameworks authenticating their fidelity and efficacy in addressing psychiatric problems with a strong link to pre-existing family dynamics. According to Minaiy et al. (2017), Milan therapy, the Transgenerational Therapy theory, the Structural Therapy position, perspectives on Narrative Therapy, and Strategic Therapy were some of the main theory modalities supporting the then-emerging idea of Family Therapy in psychotherapy.
However, postmodern Family Therapy as we currently know it morphed into an autonomous after the introduction of the strategic family theory in 1963 by Jay Haley, the subsequent incorporation of the family systems approach during the 1950s by Dr. Murray Bowen, and the inclusion of the transgenerational therapy framework initially proposed by Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy and Krasner (1986), and James Framo in 1986 (Trusty-Smith, 2020). Today, the integration of psychotherapy as an effective intervention in treating psychiatric conditions such as major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is attributed to theoretical foundations proposed by the above-mentioned scholars.
Evidence-Based Practice (EPB) in Family Therapy (FT)
Since its initial inception, the innovative Family Therapy therapy modality has continually strived to uplift its specialized area of concentration as a proactive measure for posterity. According to Slesnick et al. (2016), leading proponents of FT’s defining principles, such as John Bowlby and Murray Bowen, encouraged the practical assessments of the efficiency of emerging psychotherapy modules in a standard clinical environment to gauge the complete efficiency. Positive results would, fundamentally, set a vital psychotherapy precedent in psychotherapy as it relates to FT’s defining principles; guiding its adoption and the resultant ratification of EPB theories as valid positions in the field of psychotherapy.
Family Therapy is generally observed as a scalable preventive measure for mental health patients, especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds. The rationale informing my opinion is FT’s cost-efficiency, ease of application, and deployment capability in low-resource settings. The broad adoption of FT therapy modalities as a key tenet of mental health services is bound to greatly benefit society through the adoption of scarce mental health services. For instance, Jones (2017), states that uninsured young adults and senior citizens from low-income and low-resource settings represent an exposed population likely to benefit greatly from the complete adoption of FT, based on their current circumstances. Emerging details from recent evidence-based FT intervention programs now indicate that children and families in low socio-economic settings are now bound to access comprehensive mental health services. This will, eventually, play a crucial role in the cumulative decrease of healthcare disparities witnessed among minority ethnic groups and races relegated to society’s fringe based on a comparatively lower socio-economic stature.
Current Trends in Family Therapy (FT)
- The espousal of solution-based brief therapy to bolster Family Therapy’s efficiency.
- Reliance on Evidence-Based-Practice (EBP) solutions to address endemic challenges facing Family Therapy, such as clients’ non-compliances.
- Holding Family Therapy-inspired seminars and training programs regularly for capacity building.
- The incorporation of healthcare informatics, such as telehealth, within the wider FT framework.
Read also Family Centered Health Policy Analysis
Guidelines and Recommendations
- Harnessing the influence of qualitative data when aspiring for component-based Family Therapy solutions.
- Adopting multiple system-based and solution-based therapy modalities to increase the probability of success during subsequent Family Therapy interventions.
- Embracing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) while fostering participants’ parental skills as a strong foundation for remission.
- Backing EPB solutions tailored towards client’s autonomy and future success while considering possible implications of proposed resolutions.