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Family Therapy

  • By: Dorothy S. Becvar
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Family therapy is a relative newcomer to the mental health arena. Like the services provided by others in this arena, it is a form of treatment provided to individuals, couples, families, and larger systems by licensed professionals whose goal is to help clients resolve whatever problems they may be experiencing. However, the field of family therapy is unique in its use of a systemic perspective, or an orientation that is relational and contextual. In other words, family therapists focus on understanding individuals in the context of their relationships, and they focus on understanding families in the context of the society of which they are a part. More important than who is in the therapy room (individual or family) is how the family therapist thinks about ...

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