To begin with, it’s important to tell you that systemic therapy is used as an umbrella term for couples or family therapy. When I started studying this type of therapy, it was way broader than I thought; the roots of systemic therapy were also based on analyzing relationships with other people.
According to a therapist, “systemic therapy can be used for providing a safe space for exploring the system (be it professional or personal.”
Not only this but it can also be used for improving connections and relationships with other people in the system. While this introduction is not enough, let’s move on to learning the concept, definition, uses, benefits, and effectiveness of systemic therapy.
What is Systemic Therapy?
Systemic therapy is a type of therapy that is rooted in analyzing a client’s personal relationships, life choices, and behavior patterns. The idea is to find the interconnected issues related to the patterns. This concept was made into reality on the basis of systems theory.
It was developed to sustain stability and find the right balance of the whole system. The system can be anything like a group of friends, family, co-workers, or any other set of people whose relationship is based on success (for example sports team or music group).
Types of Systemic Therapy
According to systems theory, this therapy style can be applied to families, couples, individuals, and more. Each type of systemic therapy is based on a different approach and is derived from the systems theory model.
Family therapy is based on the interaction of family in a cohesive unit. The therapist tries to find out the patterns that need or stand for a potential change within the family.
Group therapy is applied to a group like co-workers, a team, or any other type of group. This type of systemic therapy is based on analyzing the interacting patterns within the team. The idea is to find if all the group members are fulfilling individual needs so that they can stand as a successful group.
This type of systemic therapy is incorporated into the theories of systems. The idea is to find resolutions for unhealthy patterns and unconscious motivations that affect relationships, circumstances, and overall life.
Working Module of Systemic Therapy
Systemic therapy is basically focused on relationships and interactions that happen within the group. It helps in recognizing and addressing problems. It helps in providing a chance for all members to explore their feelings in a safe and non-judgmental environment.
This therapy helps in uncovering the negative ways in which members behave and communicate within the group. The therapist tries to find the differences and causes behind the problems. The role of the therapist is to create a safe space for exploring key issues. The therapist tries to find the whole sense of the system.
Uses of Systemic Therapy
The best part about systemic therapy is that it is designed for all age groups including children. Depending on the cause, it can help a group resolve problems within a system.
It is really beneficial for a group wherein emotions are denied or repressed due to underlying problems. Below are some uses and examples of systemic therapy that can be used as a reference:
Anger management: Systemic therapy can be effectively used for teaching anger management techniques to individuals whose relationships are being affected.
Anxiety: Systemic therapy for anxiety is applied all around the world. It helps in identifying the source and origin of fears. Moreover, it helps the client learn healthy strategies to overcome anxiety related to the fears and system.
Addictions, and substance abuse: Systemic therapy helps the clients in identifying the factors that contributed to the substance abuse or addictions. The therapist provides the right treatment approach that connects the client in the right direction and helps in overcoming the addiction.
Conduct disorder: Conduct disorder is recognized as destructive and aggressive behavior. Herein, the therapist tries to improve the impulse control of the client by teaching them the appropriate social skills. It also helps in understanding the daily dynamic that might be influencing aggressive behavior or actions.
Eating disorders: Eating disorders are always effectively treated with systemic therapy. It helps in improving self-image and self-worth. Systemic therapy also helps in understanding the feelings of the client and empowers the client to improve their decision-making skills related to food and exercise.
Mood disorders: People with bipolar disorder, depression, or other mood disorders can work on their personal issues with the help of systemic therapy. Systemic therapy is best for addressing real-time problems of certain mental health conditions.
PTSD: Systemic therapy can also help people who have gone through traumatic events which are currently impacting their lives negatively.
Schizophrenia: In some cases, schizophrenia can also be treated by systemic therapy. In such cases, the therapist works on the symptoms.
Relationship difficulties: Systemic therapy is already proven to be an effective approach for resolving relationship-related issues. Systemic therapy helps in improving the communication gap and also helps in identifying the hidden issues that sabotage mutual understanding within the system.
Benefits of Systemic Therapy
Systemic therapy provides a lot of benefits specifically for family or couples settings. It is beneficial because it helps in understanding the aspects of emotional life and positive interaction techniques with the clients. The best part about systemic therapy is that it helps in providing a safe space for people.
They can come directly and talk about their personal issues in a non-judgment environment. The therapist provides real-time insights so that the issues can be resolved directly and handled in a positive manner. Below are some of the best benefits of systemic therapy:
Core beliefs: Systemic therapy helps the clients to identify their core beliefs that are destructive in nature so that they can overcome the negative behaviors and start focusing on the system.
Empathy: Systemic therapy helps the clients in developing greater empathy for the other members. Empathy is important to establish a healthy relationship within a system.
Empowerment: This therapy helps in providing great opportunities to the clients. It helps in empowering lives. It encourages them to take the initiative and charge for their actions and behaviors.
Identification of strengths: Systemic therapy is best because it helps the client to evaluate their strengths on their own. This helps in increasing self-worth and self-confidence.
Learning to work together: Systemic therapy encourages the family member or system to work as a whole so that everyone can seek benefits from each other.
Self-understanding: One of the best benefits of systemic therapy is the self-understanding feature. The therapist provides different tools to the clients so that they can understand themselves in a better way.
Understanding of different perspectives: Systemic therapy helps the clients understand the different perspectives from different contexts. The feature helps in increasing self-awareness and also helps in establishing positive interactions with each other.
I hope this blog helps you understand the basic concepts of systemic therapy. Comment down and share your views on the same. For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.
Thanks for reading!
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