What is Systemic Family Counselling?

Systemic Family Counselling (SFC) is designed for families to share their problems and communicate effectively. The Systemic Practitioner visits a family and ensures everyone is given a chance to speak. We work with families with children from 0- 5.

How does it work?

SFC is a form of therapy for a whole family. It helps relationships, shows patterns of behaviour and dynamics between family members.

SFC works with families and couples to nurture change and development. The whole family works together with the therapist to help everybody change, not just one individual.

SFC aims to:

  • Include and consider all the needs of each family member
  • Recognise and build on the family’s strengths and their resources
  • Work alongside, and with them
  • Let each family member share difficult or distressing issues in a supportive environment
  • Take away blame and share issues together

Examples of our practice

Helen (grandmother), Susan (daughter) and James (Susan’s son).
This case was referred to us by the social worker. James was on the Child Protection Register and placed in the custody of his grandmother due to his mother’s binge drinking and chaotic behaviour. Traditionally the mother-son relationship had been strong but with James living with the grandmother tensions rose.  Susan felt threatened by her son’s relationship with his grandmother and James’s behaviour deteriorated.

Our Systemic Practitioner worked with the family to re-build Helen and Susan’s relationship. Our art therapist worked with Susan and James to smooth the transition of James moving back with his mother, re-building their bond and boosting Susan’s confidence in her parenting skills. A situation that could have spiralled into family breakdown was averted.

Family consisting of mum, new partner of 18 months, 13-year-old boy and 14-month-old boy.
The Systemic Practitioner first had to identify the difficulties within the family, establish relationships with all family members, allow each family member the opportunity to voice concerns and enable the 13-year-old boy to express why he was angry. 

He had been getting into trouble at school for fighting. Initially the mother blamed her 13-year-old son for everything that was going wrong within the family. Through using an Art Therapist the son was able to express how he felt "pushed out". His mum and her partner were heavy drinkers and, although his physical needs were being met, they had not been emotionally available for him. He also constantly worried about his mum's drinking.

Work with this family is ongoing but the mother now recognises that she cannot blame her son for everything; she needs to address her drinking and spend more time with him.

Make a referral to the Systemic Practitioner

If you would like to contact her, please send an email to Paula Swanston or call 0131 661 0890.