The purpose of couple therapy or counselling is to help each partner make full use of themselves in the relationship between them. I believe that, on the whole, family members are trying to help each other. The family is a system organized in such a way as to increase predictability. It is an open system and each member is trying to maintain themselves in a position of balance, while the whole family is constantly evolving. It is this process of change and evolution that produces disturbances in the system and family members have no option but to adjust. –
Salvador Minuchin, speaking at a two-day conference to mark the Laboratory’s 30th anniversary.
Sessions that involve the couple or the whole family are a regular part of family therapy and/or couples therapy. Family therapy and couples therapy are established methods of psychotherapy where one or all members of a family participate in sessions aimed at addressing the psychological problems that usually one of the members manifests.
The basic idea behind this method is that individual psychological problems have meaning and purpose only within the context of family relationships. Consequently, if we manage to improve or change the established patterns of interaction within a family, the meaning of manifest psychological symptoms changes, and the family musters its forces to help its troubled members (and vice versa).