Systemic therapy helps people understand the relationship between their early life experiences and current challenges. Instead of trying to cure a present issue, the treatment focuses on assisting individuals in recognizing patterns and learning how to react to them. This therapy type can have many benefits, including gaining a better self-understanding, learning to see things from different perspectives, feeling empowered to make life choices, developing empathy for others, and building healthy relationships.
When May Systemic Therapy be Useful?
Systemic therapy can be helpful in a variety of situations, including:
The actual events during a therapy session depend on many factors and the therapist. Often, this therapy is used with families and couples experiencing relationship issues. In that case, participants may be taught to:
Emotion statement – Individuals receive an opportunity to communicate how they are feeling.
Reporting – Other participants mirror back to them what they hear the communicator saying without making judgment calls.
Respond with feeling words – The other participants then tell the original communicator how that statement makes them feel.
Movement toward norm – The therapist then tries to help all participants achieve a healthier relationship by carrying out short-and-long-term changes.
Implement – The therapist may assign participants homework between sessions to encourage them to practice those changes.
Evaluate – During the next session, the participants discuss how those changes worked for them.
What Are the Limitations of Systemic Therapy?
This type of therapy does not look at past issues. If these issues need further exploration, the mental health worker will suggest a different therapy approach that may be implemented alongside this therapy or occur before or after this therapy. This type of therapy, often used in martial and family therapy, requires a high commitment on everyone’s part.
What Are the Strengths of Systemic Therapy?
One major strength of this therapy is that no one comes out feeling dominant. Each person is encouraged to see the world through another person’s perspective. This often allows groups to become more creative in coming up with solutions that work with their group dynamics.