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Couple in therapy, Norwich


What is Systemic Psychotherapy?

Systemic therapy is specifically designed to meet the needs of couples and families.

Exploring the foundations of Systemic Psychotherapy

In the realm of therapeutic practices, Systemic Psychotherapy emerges as a dynamic branch, rooted in the expansive interdisciplinary field known as systems theory. This overarching theory delves into the intricate structures and interactions prevalent in science, nature, and society. Within this framework, systemic psychotherapy has evolved as an innovative method, extending its therapeutic reach to encompass entire family units and the closest bonds of caring relationships.

Is Systemic Psychotherapy your ideal therapeutic pathway?

Tailored for Diverse Personal Circumstances
The versatility of relationship psychotherapy positions it as an ideal solution for a myriad of personal circumstances and challenges. This means that individuals from all walks of life can derive immense benefits from this invaluable therapeutic approach. Much like the diverse array of relationships and family structures, systemic psychotherapy proves to be a highly adaptable and effective solution. It transcends boundaries related to sexual orientations, types of relationships, financial standings, social backgrounds, beliefs, and cultural affiliations.

Bridging Communication Gaps
One of the primary advantages of systemic psychotherapy lies in its ability to enhance communication across various relationships. Whether it’s with a partner, child, parent, sibling, distant relative, or even a co-worker, this therapeutic method equips individuals with the skills to communicate effectively. It’s not just about fostering communication when the other party is present; it’s also about developing the capacity to navigate conversations in their absence.

A Safe Haven for Relational Concerns
Beyond communication enhancement, systemic psychotherapy provides a dedicated space to address and discuss a spectrum of relational concerns. This therapeutic modality serves as a nurturing environment to explore and unravel any issues one might be grappling with in their relationships. Whether it’s a concern about the dynamics with a loved one or broader relational challenges, systemic psychotherapy offers a supportive platform for these discussions.

How does Systemic Psychotherapy help?

The groups and pairings in which we live have a very profound impact on our emotional health. When issues and problems arise within a group, such as a couple or a family unit, this can have a negative effect on everyone. Systemic psychotherapy is designed to address ways for couples and families to cope as a group with the distress, pain, and upset that problems can bring by suggesting exercises and communication skill-building.

Therapy works by exploring patterns in the relational system in a non-blaming way. Often partners or family members can pinpoint a problem as having been started due to a particular cause or a person. We will, however, encourage everyone to explore how each member has contributed to a certain pattern.

By providing this type of support systemic psychotherapy can help both families and couples to better understand the issues they are facing, understand how individuals affect the group as a whole, identify the strengths and weaknesses within the group, improve communication between members and ultimately set goals and devise strategies which will resolve their current problems.

What issues is Systemic Psychotherapy good for?

Systemic psychotherapy has been proven to be effective for a large range of both personal and group problems, including children and adolescents, as well as adults. A great deal of research has shown that couple or family therapy is an effective solution to dealing with a range of issues, such as:

  • Difficulties in relationships and the distress they cause
  • Sexual problems
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug and alcohol problems
  • Mental health issues and mood disorders, including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), psychosis, schizophrenia, grief, self-harm, and suicide
  • Coping with physical issues, including major illness diagnosis and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Child and adolescent behavioural problems, including infant sleep, feeding or attachment issues, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and delinquency.

"I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. Only in the process of fixing myself, did I know who I really was..."

What happens in Systemic Psychotherapy?

It is important to understand that in systemic family or couple psychotherapy the therapist will take an approach which is not blame-centric and doesn’t seek to ‘take sides. The aim is to reduce stress and difficulties for everyone involved. While it is natural for couples or families to experience difficulties due to their differences or competing concerns, the goal of systemic psychotherapy is to tackle these problems by encouraging loved ones to understand and help each other better.

You can feel confident that your therapist will adapt and tailor sessions to fit your personal circumstances and problems. The needs, resources, ages and preferences of the people involved are taken into account as much as possible – enabling everyone to feel they are being listened to and their feelings are taken into account. Therapy involving children can include drawing and play exercises which help them to better express themselves in a creative way.

While the central idea is to provide systemic psychotherapy to a group or couple, sometimes the individuals who attend can vary. Therapists can also see clients on a one-to-one basis in addition to group psychotherapy if they feel this would be beneficial. This applies to circumstances where someone may want to sort out their feelings before a group session or where therapists want to discuss issues with the parents of young children.

Is Systematic Psychotherapy recommended by the NHS?

Family and couple psychotherapy is recognised as a valuable and effective treatment option for suitable issues by the NHS. In line with other forms of counselling and psychotherapy, the benefits of ‘talking treatments’ are very well established and are often used as the first line of treatment for a range of mild to moderate mental health problems. Where medication has been prescribed it has long been understood that talking treatments work very effectively in concert with pharmaceutical intervention to deal with both symptoms and causes.