Family therapy involves a psychotherapist working with families who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships. It can help families communicate better, adapt to changes in family life, and resolve conflict.
You may be offered family therapy if you are experiencing problems which involve and affect the whole family. This may be the case if just one member of the family is in difficulty, but it is having an impact on everyone. Child behavioural problems, parenting issues and changes in family life such as divorce or separation are also examples of issues which can be effectively worked through with a family therapist.
After you make an initial enquiry, you will be invited to attend an assessment. You will be asked to talk and answer questions about the difficulties you are experiencing, so that the therapist can plan a course of action best suited to your needs.
After the assessment, you and your family will attend a series of sessions lasting between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. Sometimes only a few sessions are necessary, but it can be a much lengthier process. These sessions will be attended by the whole family, who are usually seen all together in one room, although sometimes therapists will see individuals or combinations of family members depending on areas of difficulty.
In family therapy, every member of the family is listened to and taken into account. It is especially important in times of familial conflict for children to be given a voice in decisions about the family, for example, in instances of family separation.
Relationship counselling, individual counselling and psychotherapy, perinatal mental health support, and specialist help for intercultural couples are some other forms of help available for you and your family.
Costs differ between individuals. You will be given a clear idea of fees before any treatment begins.
Suzanne Hutchison is a UKCP registered Family & Couple Systemic Therapist. She has worked with families experiencing a variety of challenges that may impact them such as physical and/or mental illness, change, loss, abuse and trauma. She has a special interest in helping children, adolescents and their families facing eating disorders.
Her research has focused on understanding the experience of siblings of adolescents with eating disorders. She also has experience in supporting families through grief and bereavements, such as death, divorce/separation and other losses. Suzanne uses a systemic and collaborative approach in supporting families through difficulties. Suzanne is fluent in English and Spanish.
Dr Shadi Shahnavaz is a UKCP registered couple and family Systemic Therapist with over 25 years experience of working with adolescents, individuals, couples and families.
Dr Shahnavaz worked in the NHS for 10 years and currently works at the Anna Freud Center where she is in the Contact and Residence Dispute Team and is also part of the teaching staff there.
Dr Shahnavaz specializes in trauma, loss and working with multicultural families. She also has a lot of experience with working with adolescents.
Dr Shahnavaz is trained in EMDR and trauma work.
She is also trained in working with attachment and parenting and is a ‘Circle of Security’ facilitator.
Dr Shahnavaz speaks French, Farsi and Swedish fluently.
Janet Reibstein is a psychologist , individual psychotherapist , and family therapist. She works with individuals, couples, and families, as well as relationships at work. She is Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter, where she runs postgraduate training in family therapy and systemic practice for The Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She was formerly Affiliated Lecturer inSocial and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge where she was also Psychological Consultant to Kings College, Cambridge. She is the author of six books and numerous articles covering her research on various aspects of relationships; couples and families; divorce and separation; and the psychological and emotional effects of illness on families and couples. Professor Reibstein has also contributed documentary series for television and Radio 4.
Annie Flower is a family and couple therapist with many years of experience working in both the NHS and the private sector.
Annie offers help and advice to those who may be experiencing conflict or difficulties in their own relationship, or with other family members. She also has a special interest in the problems of adolescents and their impact on other family members, such as eating disorders, conduct disorders, and the consequences of physical illness.
Steph has been working with children and with families since 2005. She has worked as a therapist in various settings, such as a University, in primary and secondary schools, charities for children with Special Needs, a Mediation Centre and in her own practice in Fulham. She enjoys providing 1:1 therapeutic support, family therapy, and has facilitated play-therapy groups. She is an Adult Trainer who co-presents two Separated Parent Programmes in London, one of which she has as co-written and founded.
Her work with children is facilitated by her training in play-therapy. Whilst providing a calm and empathic space for children, teenagers, parents, couples and families, Steph is non directive and follows cues from children and works with all ages. The family sessions are tailored to foster better communication and relationships between children, parents and carers. She likes to increase a person’s self-awareness and self-confidence with various creative mediums. The focus of the sessions can be more on immediate problems, with practical suggestions offered and can be shorter term than psychoanalytic therapy.
Steph is an accredited BACP therapist and has recently specialised in helping families in separation and divorce and writes a monthly blog on related subjects (if interested, please visit: sftherapylondon.com).
Steph has trained in both Integrative and Psychodynamic Therapy. The basis of her work is founded on psychodynamic concepts but values the influences of the humanistic and person centred approaches.
Dr. Reenee Singh is a Consultant Family and Couple Systemic psychotherapist with over twenty years experience in working with children, families, couples and individuals. Reenee worked at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust for many years and is the Co-Director of the Tavistock Family Therapy and Systemic Research Centre. She is the Editor of the Journal of Family Therapy. Reenee has published two books and numerous papers in the areas of ‘race’, culture and qualitative research. Reenee presents her work at national and international conferences and teaches all over the world.
Reenee specialises in working with intercultural couples and mixed race families. She is currently the co-director of the London Intercultural Couples Centre at the Child and Family Practice.