Family Systems Therapy

Family Systems Therapy (FST) is a method of therapy which is based on the concept that we are all made up of several components, and we are not in a rigid, permanent state. In this therapeutic modality, our mind is referred to as our inner family, with many techniques of family therapy being used on the individual. FST is a form of psychotherapy which is often used for a small group of people who intimately know each other, such as a family.
The core concepts consider both the individual family members and the system as a whole. Through this treatment, you will be encouraged to understand your relationship with the different parts of your mind and other people to create the full picture of your life.
The ultimate goal of FST is to rebalance your internal system, and to achieve harmony within your close social group. At the core of this theory, it is believed that you have multiple components within you. Navigating these can be positive and productive or destructive. Experiences, such as trauma, can push you from a healthy relationship with yourself and the world to an extreme position.
When this therapy is used in a family setting, it relies on the concept that members have intrinsic emotional ties. A disconnection from the family can occur due to trauma or mental health challenges, and this can destabilize the system externally and internally.

At Addcounsel, we use FST to address this disconnection and restore balance within your life, leading to an increased sense of wellbeing, peace of mind, and improved relationships.

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How Family Systems Therapy Works

This therapy modality is focussed on the idea that problems which arise for individuals or the family as a whole, are often a result of behaviour patterns within the family unit.
The goal of this treatment is to move the focus and responsibility from one individual who may be displaying the ‘loudest’ psychological distress, to the group as a whole and their family circumstances.

The core concepts of family systems therapy include:

This is in relation to an individual’s sense of identity and ability to function on their own, rather than as a member of a group. A person’s level of differentiation determines how confident they are in themselves and how much validation they need from others.
This refers to the relationship between three people – the smallest group number where behaviour can be observed and family systems therapy can be used.
Family Projection
This notion is concerned with the way in which parents transfer their worries, anxieties, or emotional difficulties onto their children. This process can often result in unstable emotions that result in high levels of anxiety or other challenging emotions.
Multigenerational Transmission
This refers to the pattern of individuals (typically subconsciously) seeking out partners who are similar to them in regards to differentiation which may then be passed on to any subsequent children.
Emotional Distance
This refers to the scenario where an individual or some individuals distance themselves from another family member to ease tensions. This can have the opposite effect and increase tensions and anxiety within the family group.

How Family Systems Therapy Can Help You

Family Systems Therapy has a wide-ranging client group. It is a model which can be used to treat an array of conditions and difficulties within the family unit. It is common for families or individuals to use FST if one family member has been experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder and they are willing to look deeply into the causes of this. It could also be beneficial for you if you are living with a condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, suicidal ideation, or an eating disorder. In addition, it can also help families with a diagnosis of a disability within the family.
FST supports families during these challenging times by helping each member recognise their own feelings and anxieties, as well as those around them. Families can choose to enter this mode of therapy together, allowing all members to feel heard and supported, or you can approach it on your own.
FST can support families if there are unresolved conflicts affecting the family dynamic, for example if a child is displaying difficult behaviour and parents disagree about how to parent.

Some typical family goals may include:

  • Understanding and recognising behaviour patterns
  • Improving family function
  • Increasing communication
  • Reshaping dysfunctional relations
  • Strengthening bonds and resilience

Generally there are shared goals which all families who undergo FST will incorporate into their therapy process, and there will always be individual, specific goals as per the uniqueness of each family unit.
The more general, shared goals of all Family Systems Therapy relate to improving communication and addressing dysfunctional behaviour patterns, whereas unique goals address the individual needs of a specific family such as mental health diagnoses, substance use disorders, or trauma.

Expert Luxury Healthcare in Central London

Improving your relationship with your family almost always starts with how you see yourself. Enact the change you want to see in your relationships and seek support today. Family Systems Therapy is a brilliant way to delve deeply into the patterns and behaviours which are contributing to strained family dynamics, and to find productive coping strategies.

We have a fantastic team of therapists who are committed to finding a happier, healthier future for you.

We are proud to be London’s leading clinic and most exclusive clinic. We provide the best residential treatment setting for individuals to recover from a range of mental health conditions and addictions. You’ll get to heal in perfect privacy in our luxurious settings, tended to by the world’s leading experts. Recovery is a challenge but it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable.

Get in touch with Addcounsel to discuss how Family Systems Therapy can help you today at +44 (0)203 709 3968 or email us at

Frequently asked questions

If you have tried to stop a behaviour or habit and cannot, despite the negative impact it is having on your life then it is likely that you may need clinical intervention. Additionally, if a mental health condition is affecting the quality of your life then we can also help you.
If in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Addcounsel are the only luxury treatment centre in London who offer a network of 80 specialists on a one-to-one basis to their clients. We pride ourselves on focussing on clinical excellence, meaning that we are client focussed but results driven. We understand what it is to work with wealthy clients; we know that it is not always easy and we know how to treat the complex and unique challenges it can entail.
We carry out a thorough diagnosis with our team of expert medical and psychiatric practitioners; this enables us to not only know what the client’s immediate problem is but the underlying factors which may be affecting it. We use this to provide a bespoke holistic treatment program in which every single aspect of the client is looked after, from their physical to their mental health. We are well equipped to match both our clients therapeutic and lifestyle needs, and we provide ongoing care plans with the goal of enabling our clients to have long lasting and consistent recovery.

Our treatment programs are delivered on a case-by-case basis. Humans are all individuals, and at Addcounsel we recognise that. This is why our program is always tailored to the needs of the client as a person, rather than trying to apply a “one-size-fits-all” treatment model. However, some of the therapies our clients can expect to receive are:

  • Psychotherapy
  • EMDR
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Spiritual counselling
  • Mindfulness
  • RTMS
  • Somantic Experiencing
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT
  • Positive psychology
  • Hypnotherapy

In short, no. Our staff are very experienced in dealing with high-profile individuals and as such we understand the value of complete privacy. The only way that someone will find out that you attended Addcounsel is if you choose to tell them.

Our treatment programs are bespoke, and as such they do not have to have a set finish date. If you decide that you need to extend your stay with us, then we will extend your stay as long as you want.
If you decide that you need additional help upon leaving treatment, we offer tailored aftercare plans which can be carried out all over the world. This means that at any point you can have a member of our team with you, wherever you decide to go.

Absolutely. At Addcounsel, we pride ourselves on minimal disruption to the lifestyles of our clients. We want them to feel at home and comfortable during their time with us, so your staff can either stay with you or we can accommodate them in one of our exclusive Central London properties. We do provide a chef, but you are of course welcome to bring your own.
Addcounsel is also able to provide house staff, butlers, and private security if our clients require it.

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Whether you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, our team would like to answer any questions you may have about treatment. Call our care team today to find out more about our treatment modalities and have all your questions answered