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What family therapy is and why you should consider it

Family therapy is distinct from other forms of therapy because it focuses on the family system. The problems of individuals are observed within the context of the larger family unit. As a family therapist myself, my raison d’être is that personal difficulties cannot be successfully addressed or solved without understanding the dynamics of the family.

When looking at an individual’s personal situation, some important questions to ask are, “In what ways are these personal difficulties affecting the family?.” “Are these difficulties being enabled by other family members?” A person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours are multi-determined and a product of significant interpersonal relationships. Imagine, from a family system perspective, alterations and changes in the larger marital and family unit may have positive consequences for the individual members and for the system at large.

These are a number of concerns that are presented to me time and time again in my family therapy sessions:

  • Parental conflict
  • Concerns about family members’ physical and mental health
  • Domestic violence
  • Changes in the families and events which leave an impact on the family system
  • Bereavement
  • Understanding anger from a family perspective
  • Dealing with Trauma
  • Relationship issues
  • Behavioural issues
  • Lack of connection between family members

The aim of family therapy is to help family members improve communication; encourage them to explore different ways and means to deal with their difficulties; support families to handle particular family situations (for example, death, serious physical or mental illness, or child and adolescent issues); to explore family roles, rules and behaviour patterns to identify issues that contribute to conflict — and ways to work through these issues; identify the family’s strengths, such as caring for one another, and struggles such as difficulty confiding in one another; and to create a supportive home environment. The work done in the sessions is to help families see, make use of, and access their own potential, to be able to make changes in their lives and relationships.

Family therapy doesn’t automatically solve family conflicts or make an unpleasant situation go away. Just remember, it is a process and involves hard work and commitment in the therapy sessions. But, in the end, it provides excellent results when the family are willing to work hard both in and outside the therapy room. It can help you and your family members understand one another better, and it can provide skills to cope with challenging situations in a more effective way. With hard work, family therapy can help the family achieve a sense of togetherness.

Maria Mifsud

About Maria Mifsud

Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) in 2008, then went on to read for a Masters in Probation Services at the University of Malta. After years of being part of the Government workforce, she realised that to better understand her clients and be more equipped, she had to further her studies by enrolling in a Masters in Systemic and Family Psychotherapy with IFT-Malta. Some years later, she continued to pursue her studies in Clinical Supervision with IFT-Malta. Maria is also a qualified Victim Offender Mediator.

TherapyPacks Terms and Conditions

1. TherapyPacks come in bundles of 5 or 10 sessions. Prices of bundles:

  • 5 sessions – €270 – must be utilised within 3 months from date of purchase
  • 10 sessions – €520 – must be utilised within 6 months from date of purchase

2. Bundles are not transferable. This means they cannot be used by, or gifted to, anyone else but the person whose name is listed as the TherapyPacks bundle holder.

3. Bundles which are purchased for Couples Therapy and Family Therapy can only be used by members of the couple or family with one therapist. If members of a couple or family decide to take up individual therapy with another therapist, the bundle will only apply to sessions with the therapist originally referred and cannot be also used for the individual sessions with another therapist. Exceptions will be made if the original therapist is unable to see the client or family and the couple or family are referred to another therapist. After referral, the same conditions will apply.

4. Bundles are valid for a limited time period, as listed above. This means that the bundles will expire once the respective time period has elapsed. Any sessions not utilised within this period will be lost. This means that a refund will not be given for unused sessions. Start date commences on date of purchase of bundles.

5. Bundles are only valid for full price sessions (charged at €60) and not for sessions with trainee psychotherapists, reports or assessments.

6. Full payment needs to be made on purchase, via bank transfer, cash or credit card.

7. Management reserves the right to terminate or suspend the use of the bundles. Reasons for such are at the discretion of the clinic.

8. Refunds or extensions of time period within which bundles may be used is at the discretion of management and will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

9. Management reserves the right to modify or replace the terms and conditions. In such circumstances, clients will be given adequate notice and time to adhere to such.

10. The clinic’s cancellation policy is applicable also to bundles. Late cancellations or no shows will result in the forfeit of a session within the bundle allocation.

11. Responsibility for ensuring timely use of session bundles remains that of the TherapyPacks bundle holder or, in the case of a minor, their carer/legal guardian.