St Vincent's Hospital, FairviewPsychotherapy Department

Individual Systemic Therapy

Systemic therapists also work with clients on an individual basis and the model is useful for many problems including:

...............................................................................................................................................................................
  • relationship problems in the client’s family, workplace, social circle or wider community loss
  • psychiatric illness
  • separation
  • coping with children’s problems
  • life stages and the demands of society for change

When working with individuals therapists will usually work alone. At the first session the therapist will enquire about the client’s presenting difficulties, expectation and hoped for outcome of therapy. The therapy process entails the therapist asking questions to explore the client’s difficulty in the context in which it occurs.

This will include when the problem began, how it manifests itself now, how it impacts on the client’s life and relationships, who else is affected or involved at present or in the past.

Systemic therapists will discuss the client’s current life situation, their social and family situation and how these fit with their present difficulties e.g. a person living alone will have different experiences to those living in a family or with a partner. What is happening for people within their wider circle will influence how problems arise and are dealt with.

Actions, which may help, and the possible outcomes of these actions will be discussed. A client may be asked to perform a task between sessions however change is seen to take place in the nature of the conversation between the client and therapist in the therapy sessions.

Sessions last one hour approximately and initially will most likely be weekly. The length of time between sessions is usually longer in the later stage of therapy.