Among mental health professionals, individual counseling is the most popular form of talk therapy for the treatment of a variety of mental illness. While there are many approaches to helping people in short term therapy, some of the most popular are cognitive behavioral therapy and a systems approach.
A systems type of therapy allows a trained professional to look at what appears to be individual problems, like depression and anxiety, as interconnected to the feelings we have about the closest people in our lives.
This type of therapy includes the typical 50 minute therapy session, but differs from more traditional approaches (such as psychoanalytic methods founded by Sigmund Freud) because it tends to define clear therapy goals and be short instead of long term.
Systemic Individual Therapy
We can think of a family as a group of people who interacted together, and who also who act and reacted to each other. We most often think of the traditional view of a family as including a mother, father, and the children, but there are larger perspectives including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even close friends. In addition, we can even be indirectly impacted by those who lived in previous generations (“You’re just like your Uncle Harry!”).
As a family therapist, I think of individuals as part of a complex group of interconnected individuals.
• when there are changes in one part belonging to the system there are changes in the other parts.
• it allows me to see and understand you you in within a wider life context.
• Your problem shifts from belonging to you alone, to belonging also to your wider family system.
• It allows me to the uncover important interconnections between you and members of the family or friendship network group
• it helps us to uncover a deeper complex transgenerational interconnections and how this may be affecting you in the present.
With this perspective, I’m interested in you as a complete person, not as an isolated person with problems that are yours alone.
Also note, I don’t currently practice group therapy.