We are supporting different cooperations and coordinations with other professionals, families, caregivers and volunteers in order of the realisation of the holistic approach. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. In psychotherapy, systemic therapy seeks to address people not only on the individual level, as had been the focus of earlier forms of therapy, but also as people in relationships, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics.
Systemic therapy has its roots in family therapy, or more precisely family systems therapy as it later came to be known. In particular, systemic therapy traces its roots to the Milan school of Mara Selvini Palazzoli, but also derives from the work of Salvador Minuchin, Murray Bowen, Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, as well as Virginia Satir and Jay Haley from MRI in Palo Alto. These early schools of family therapy represented therapeutic adaptations of the larger interdisciplinary field of systems theory which originated in the fields of biology and physiology.
Early forms of systemic therapy were based on cybernetics. In the 1970s this understanding of systems theory was central to the structural (Minuchin) and strategic (Haley, Selvini Palazzoli) schools of family therapy which would later develop into systemic therapy. In the light of postmodern critique, the notion that one could control systems or say objectively "what is" came increasingly into question. Based largely on the work of anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead, this resulted in a shift towards what is known as "second-order cybernetics" which acknowledges the influence of the subjective observer in any study, essentially applying the principles of cybernetics to cybernetics – examining the examination.
As a result, the focus of systemic therapy (ca. 1980 and forward) has moved away from a modernist model of linear causality and understanding of reality as objective, to a postmodern understanding of reality as socially and linguistically constructed. Systemic therapy approaches problems practically rather than analytically. It seeks to identify stagnant patterns of behavior within a living system - a group of people, such as a family. It then addresses those patterns directly, without analysing their cause. Systemic therapy does not attempt to determine past causes, such as subconscious impulses or childhood trauma, or to diagnose.
Thus, it differs from psychoanalytic and psychodynamic forms of family therapy (for example, the work of Horst-Eberhard Richter).
A key point of this postmodern perspective is not a denial of absolutes. Instead, the therapist recognises that they do not hold the capacity to change people or systems. Their role is to introduce creative "nudges" which help systems to change themselves: Systemic therapy neither attempts a 'treatment of causes' nor of symptoms; rather it gives living systems nudges that help them to develop new patterns together, taking on a new organizational structure that allows growth.
Counseling can help you in personal and family problems, e.g.
- Family tensions
- Recurring anxieties and fears
- the search for your own free space
- during your cure or your Rehabilitation (Reha) stay a consultation can show you new paths as you have time to reflect upon your life to develop alternatives and envolve new ideas
What Is Systemic Therapy?
Systemic therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on how an individual's personal relationships, behavior patterns, and life choices are interconnected with the issues they face in their life.The concept springs from systems theory, which looks at how parts of a system affect one another to sustain the stability and equilibrium of the whole system. Systems theory has been applied to individual, family, and group therapy. Each type takes a slightly different approach based on the systems theory model.
Techniques of Systemic Therapy
Below are some examples of techniques employed during systemic therapy:
- Circular Questioning: This approach helps the therapist explore a problem from different angles to identify its core issue.
- Conceptualization: This technique helps a therapist put a client's symptoms into a context that spans time and space, or applies to one or more members of a family. It looks at how an individual experience is part of larger patterns within the person, family, community, or culture.
- Reframing: This tactic involves identifying the way a client views him or herself and offers an alternative perspective that can help to deepen or broaden understanding of the self. It's often used in conjunction with circular questioning, which helps clients identify their own patterns of behavior within social contexts.
Benefits of Systemic Therapy
Systemic therapy provides many benefits. It helps individuals understand the ways their emotional life affects how they interact with others. It provides a safe space for people to talk about personal issues that may have been too painful or difficult to share with others. And, it can provide insights into relationships that may not be handled well by other forms of counseling or therapy.
Below are some specific benefits of systemic therapy:
- Self-understanding: Individuals are given tools to help them better understand themselves. With greater self-understanding, people can develop healthier relationships with others and reach their potential in life. The individual is an active participant in exploring his or her own patterns of thoughts, actions, and emotions.
- Understanding of different perspectives: Systems theory helps individuals understand the different perspectives people have in different contexts. This awareness can help them identify when others are trying to exert power, when they are being influenced by someone else, and how these interactions affect their behavior.
- Empowerment: Systemic therapy provides an opportunity for individuals to be empowered in their own lives. It is not about giving up control to someone else or surrendering power to an expert or professional. Instead, this type of therapy empowers the individual to take charge of their life.
- Relationship skills: Individuals are taught how to communicate with others in more effective ways. They may learn how to better handle conflict and resolve problems. This can help them have more loving and fulfilling relationships.
- Core beliefs: This therapy helps individuals identify the core beliefs that may be destructive for their lives, such as perfectionism or having to please others before themselves.
- Identification of strengths/resources: Systemic therapy helps individuals identify their own strengths and resources, which can lead to increased self-confidence and self-worth.
- Empathy: Systemic therapy can help clients develop greater empathy for others, which is essential for healthy relationships with parents, partners, and children.
- Learning to work together with family: Systemic therapy encourages family members to work together for the benefit of one another.
Anna Ihl | Founding Member of Lifeaholics
Lincenced mental health Occupational Therapist, B. Sc.
Licenced Systemical Psychotherapist
Specialized in Stressmanagement, Family Affairs, Coping with fear