Frequently asked Questions

Question: Do family therapists only work with families?

Answer: No. They may see children and adults individually and/or in family member groups. They may work with couples, or with other groups and communities, and with people across the lifespan, from children to older adults. When a family is involved with several different agencies, family therapists may work with the network of professionals as well as with family members to ensure their input is co-ordinated and helpful. Some family therapists use their understandings of relationships to work with organisations. Many use their skills in family sensitive working to train and/or supervise other professionals. Some family therapists specialise in working with individuals and communities under-represented in mainstream services, including LGBT clients and those from minority ethnic communities.

Question: How long will it take?

Answer: Sometimes it doesn’t take much to help people free up their strengths and find ways forward. Sometimes difficulties are more complex and families may need longer to find solutions that work for them. Your Family Therapist will be happy to discuss timings and time scales with you.

Question: What is meant by ‘family’?

Answer:  Different cultures and different groups of individuals have different notions of what 'family' means. AFT takes 'family' to mean any group of people who define themselves as such, which care about and care for each other.

Question: What if someone’s reluctant to go?

Answer: Sometimes, when one person or group is keen to try Family Therapy others close to them may be more reluctant. This is understandable. Going to Family Therapy can feel like a big step and some people are more ready to take it than others. It may be useful to arrange an initial meeting with the family therapist, to discuss the possibility of working together and give everyone a chance to air their concerns and ask questions. Your Family Therapist will be happy to discuss ways forward with you.