Family Systems Therapy


In some ways, family systems therapy in an outpatient rehab setting has much in common with psychodynamic therapy. However, the focus is not intrapsychic (the inner workings of an individual), but more interpersonal (how people relate to each other and function as a group). Instead of studying on a micro level what happens in our own hearts and heads, we pulled back the lens to a Google Earth satellite view and see the big picture of several interconnected generations over many decades. Whether we like to admit it or not, we inherit from previous generations both good and bad attributes/communication skills/emotional intelligence/coping mechanisms/behaviors/dynamics.

Family systems therapy allows our rehab therapists a large-scale picture of outside influences absorbed (knowingly or not), and gives us an opportunity to retain the good things, and discard the bad ones. In other words, it allows us to recover more of our true inherent selves. Our organic nature is somewhat lost through our childhoods, and outside influences often distract us from really who we were to be. Consciously expunging some of these environmental effects, allows us to come back to who we really are as unique individuals.


Our culture, our religion, our political parties, our geography, our generation, our nationality, and our families, all directly affect our thinking and style of living. Family systems therapy gives us a very tangible tool to cut through all of this and recover who it is we really are.

Just like psychodynamic therapy, family systems therapy is actually quite complex to implement properly and requires a talented licensed mental health professional with years of clinical experience to successfully implement. When done right, this is a very powerful and freeing form of treatment for addiction.