Psychoanalytic Family Therapy

Psychoanalytic Family Therapy

The need for a partner is intertwined with our human nature, not only for the aim of reproduction, but as a means of psychological, intellectual and emotional fulfillment as well. Those fundamental needs, along with other social, economical and political factors have formed the family institution, which in modern times came to be defined as a bio-social unit that is formed by at least two adults, as well as their children. Having to cope with plenty a source of anxiety, family is strained while performing its many vital functions. As a result, its members are having a hard time relating to each other, which of course takes a toll.

In the post-war era, many therapists turned from the individual to the family as a whole, in order to study and work through those strains and hardships (systemic approach). The observations that resulted from the application of this approach indicate that the dysfunction of a family doesn’t only come about from the behavior and interaction of its members as a whole, but from the preexisting psychic conflicts and needs of each of its member as well. Thus, psychoanalytic family therapy was born.

The psychoanalytic approach of a family is conducted traversing two temporal axes, the past and the present. The current status and the life cycle of the family is examined (present), along with the relationship dynamics of the parents’ families of origin (past). In this setting, the interaction of the members is crucial, as well as the dyadic and triadic relationships that develop (object relations theory) and the unconscious patterns of behavior that have already been established in the past, and are now projected from each member to the other.

,Thus, the goal of the analytic family therapy is to understand and acknowledge the conscious and unconscious dysfunctional behavior of the family members, to identify the projections that take place between them and to redirect all those in a beneficial manner through corrective emotional experience.



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