Family systems theory views the family as an emotional unit. It uses systems thinking to describe the complex interactions in the unit. It is the nature of a family that its members are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but according to this theory that is more feeling than fact. Family members affect each others thoughts, feelings and actions. Family members seek each other’s attention, approval and support and react to each other’s needs, expectations, and upsets. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person’s functioning is followed by changes in the behaviours of others.
It can therefore be very helpful in therapy to view our connections with family members. Looking at a family system can bring a lot of new insight. Frequently the dynamics from our family of origin influence our behaviour in relationships, in the workplace and in friendships. Information about relationship patterns, roles and positions are revealed in systemic work. There are many techniques we can use to view family dynamics and I work with miniature dolls or stones to bring a fresh dimension to the work. New awareness can bring about a greater level of freedom in your life.
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