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family therapy

a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the improvement of interfamilial relationships and behavioral patterns of the family unit as a whole, as well as among individual members and groupings, or subsystems, within the family. Family therapy includes a large number of treatment forms with diverse conceptual principles, processes and structures, and clinical foci. Some family therapy approaches (e.g., object relations theory) reflect extensions of models of psychotherapy with individuals in the interpersonal realm, whereas others (e.g., structural family therapy) evolved in less traditional contexts. Most approaches emphasize contexts in which clinical problems arise. This accompanying systemic view potentially allows clinical attention to all levels of the organization of behavior, from the individual, to the family, and to the community. Family therapy models vary enormously in terms of length, past versus present orientation, techniques used, and treatment goals. See also conjoint therapy; couples therapy; family group psychotherapy; family systems theory.

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Psychology term of the day

May 21st 2024

chronic pain

chronic pain

pain that continues to occur despite all medical and pharmacological efforts at treatment. In many cases, the pain is initially caused by tissue damage or disease. The continuation of the pain is often the result of pathological changes in the central nervous system.