What is family psychology?

Family psychology is one of the branches of general psychology, which is responsible forstudying, analyzing and resolving those conflicts that arise within the family. In this sense, the family psychologist does not visualize the family as separateforms but visualizes it from the global perspective, that is, as a system. (1)

To highlight: This discipline was born in the United States in the 50s, after a group of psychology professionalsdecided to work with families who were affectedby having patients with disorders of different kinds, obtaining positive results.

In this sense, family psychology not only intervenes in those cases of dysfunctional families, but alsointervenes indifficult stages of the familycaused by unexpected traumas that affect their emotional stability.

What is family psychology for?

This discipline can help the familyin a large number of situationsthat affect its stability, addressing conflicts in the following way:

1. Analyze and identify family conflicts

Family psychology, through scientific methods and techniques, collects information regarding the problemsthat members of the family group may be presenting from different perspectives. This is done through observation, interviews and the application of questionnaires where it collects the necessary data.

Note: At this point, family psychology analyzes the information and can then recognize the conflict or conflicts that are really taking place within the family.

2. Address behavioral issues

After having recognized the conflict or conflicts present in the family, approach the problems that are present and that are causing discomfortfrom a neutral perspective , especially those related to human behavior.

The next thing is to present and discuss them with everyone involved in the family, trying to make each member visualize and become aware of their responsibility within the conflict.

3. Improve family communication

In this context, family psychology provides the necessary elements that favor understanding, patience and tolerance. 

You should know: For this, it provides enough tools to create within the family group, the ideal channels to transmit ideas, thoughts and opinions between them.

4. Encourage family support

One of the main purposes of family psychology is to make the members of the family understand that support among them is the basis and sustenance for coexistence and the key to family unity.

What does a family psychologist do?

The family psychologist intervenes within the family group through the following scientific practices of psychology:

1. Assess family dynamics and identify problems

In individual and group sessions with the family group, the psychologist tries to obtain all the information that can describe the problem or problems that are present and then analyzes the situation globally and identifies which are the weaknesses that are affecting the family.

To highlight: This is how the family psychologist collects information from each family member, and evaluates it together to know and recognize What is really happeningwithin the family. Generally this is achieved through interviews.

2. Design conflict resolution strategies

Once the focal point or points that cause problems or conflicts in the family have been identified, the psychologist designs and proposes to the members the intervention strategies to be used , which may include family therapy. (two)

You should know: Generally, children are pieces of important information for the psychologist, since through their answers the therapist Can know the family reality.

3. Generate reflection and effective communication

Families generally have a turning point in the communicational aspect , often caused by the repressive systems of the parents.

In this sense, another of the purposes of the family psychologist is to ensure that each member generates their own reflection on their actions and thinks about how they affect interpersonal relationships within the family nucleus and what they can do to favor it.

Note: Science in society has described the importance of communications (3) in all areas of informal and formal life, and family communication is no exception.

4. Mediate between family members and provide guidance

In those cases where family conflicts are at a breaking point, it is necessary for the family psychologist to act as a mediator to try to gradually reach a point of balance and harmony.

will be the strategy to follow to give

To highlight: This strategy among its purposes is that the people who make up the family group Can overcome difficulties with as little trauma as possible.

Key Conclusions

  • Family psychology is a discipline responsible for studying, analyzing and resolving those conflicts that arise within the family.
  • Family psychology relies on the scientific method to carry out its intervention.
  • The object of study of this discipline is human behavior and its unit of analysis is the family.

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