What is Family Therapy?

We at Naas Family & Play Therapy Services offer a wide range of systemic approaches to support individuals and their family (children, teenagers and adults). This is client centred, needs based support in family therapy that provides a space for those that attend to explore their difficulties or dilemmas from a creative and relational perspective with a view to gaining new insights and skills that bring about change.

Family Therapy, now known as systemic psychotherapy is different from other forms of psychotherapy as it comes from a contextual and relational perspective. It works from the belief that we are all part of, influenced by and influencing close relationships, families, work/school and our communities relationships etc. We look at the wider picture rather than believing it is only related to one person. Small insights and changes can have positive impacts on an entire family.

As an Individual

Our sense of who we are is intimately associated with our relationships – both to other people and the contexts in which we live. When relationships do not give us what we need, we lose our sense of comfort and confidence about the person that we are. When relationships go seriously wrong, powerful psychological process come to operate. Often not in full awareness, and often with unwanted consequences. (AFT 2011) When there is a change in any individual member of the family, others in the family system are affected. (Liddle, 1995)

Family therapy approaches understand the importance of treating individuals as subsystems within the family system and as units of assessment and intervention; in other words, each member of the family is capable of being assessed and can act as a unit of intervention–for example, by changing her interactional patterns. The critical point is that family-based treatments work with multiple units, including individual parents, adolescents, parent-adolescent combinations, and whole families, as well as family members and other systems. It is the multiple systems approach that distinguishes current family-based therapies from older family therapy approaches (Liddle, 1995. and Rockville, 1999)

As a Family

Therapies designed to treat individual people have a remarkable record of achievement, being successful in about 75% of cases. However, with up to 25% of people in need not being helped and large numbers dropping out of treatment before it is completed, we have no reason for complacency.

Systemic family and couples therapy offers something completely different.  Instead the therapy takes place within their system of close relationships. The family context that both challenges and supports each one of us.


Re working creativily with children???? GER

Role-playing, reframing negative behaviours, narrative therapy


Systemic Family and Couples Therapies provide effective help for people with an extraordinarily wide range of difficulties. The range covers childhood conditions such as conduct and mood disorders, eating disorders, and substance misuse; and in adults, couple difficulties and severe psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia. Throughout the life span, it is shown to be effective in the treatment and management of depression and chronic physical illness, and the problems that can arise as families change their constitution or their way of life.


As a Couple?? Carole

Mairead to add EFT piece


Additional Therapeutic Modalities Incorporated into Family Therapy:

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Behavioural therapy

Cognitive therapy

Sensorimotor  psychotherapy

Mindfulness and Minesight

Interventions are also influenced by and incorporate attachment theory, developmental and relational trauma research.


An additional goal for the therapist is to give parents explicit information that will help them understand the connection between the child’s early history, past family pain and traumas, and the present situation.

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Naas Family Play Therapy Service,
Killowen House
Southern Link Business Park
Naas, Co. Kildare W91 D6KW

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