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Individual Versus Family Therapy

Individual and family/couple therapies can be summarized in two distinct ways. Perhaps the simplest view is a participation perspective, which is determined by who actually attends therapy. That is, the number of client(s) participating in treatment determines whether it is individual or family therapy. Alternatively, a theoretical perspective assumes therapists’ theoretical approach determines whether they are implementing individual or family therapy. Namely, a systemic or relational focus is considered family therapy, which can also be implemented with an individual client. Based on these definitions of family therapy, we will subsume couples therapy within family therapy given the great overlap in concepts and methods, although couples therapy has acquired its own identity as a form of therapy in recent decades. This entry expands on each of ...

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