chapter  7
11 Pages

Individual Therapy and Systemic Intervention

For a period of time in the 1970s and 1980s, many therapists in the field of marriage and family therapy insisted that for therapy to be effective, all members of the family should be present. Currently, working with subsystems (e.g., parental subsystems, marital dyads, and individuals as part of a family system) is more widely accepted. If a system consists of the interaction of a group of individuals, and theoretically every individual affects the system, then it follows that working in a systemic way with an individual can alter the destructive reciprocal patterns within the couple or family of which the individual is a member. A significant proportion of many marital and family therapists' caseloads are individual clients working on systemic issues. In many cases, spouses refuse to enter the therapeutic process or individuals report that they want to work in therapy by themselves.