Marriage and family therapy

Couple therapy and family therapy are two specific forms of psychotherapy. Nowadays in the Netherlands couple and family therapy are referred to as system therapy and the therapist is called system therapist. Specific to this therapy is that partners or family members usually are in therapy together. But individual therapy is also possible. The problems of one or more people involved are central in the therapy.

Relationships, family and surroundings together form a social system. A therapy which pays attention to the interaction between people and between complaints and reactions from people in the environment, helps people overcome their problems faster. Complaints of one person are circularly influenced by others in the social system and vice versa. Couple and family therapy make use of this knowledge.
Treatment focuses on the presented problems as well as on the relationships and the pattern of reacting in the social surroundings. Practising this, the therapist enables the clients to break the vicious circle. This way prevents problems to last partly due to someone’s environment and changes can sink in better.

System therapy is not only an approach for problems in a relationship or family. It is a specialist form of psychotherapy which has proven effective with for instance mood complaints (depression), anxiety complaints, loss/dealing with mourning and trauma related complaints. It can also be done as an individual therapy.