In my view, humans suffer because they are in some way prisoners of their own beliefs about life - usually unexamined or unconscious beliefs about the way things ought to be, or the way they themselves ought to be. Today, we know more clearly than ever before that these beliefs are held in place not only by stubborn patterns of nerve cells firing in the brain, but also by the systemic forces of social interaction - our bad habits are embedded in our relationships.
Good therapy with families has this advantage over individual therapy in clearing up life’s problems: psychotherapists have a greater capacity to instigate change and growth by shaking up the old patterns that hold the dysfunctional belief systems in place. In this way, healing work can happen faster with longer effects because the new relational patterns discovered in therapy are immediately put into practice at home. At the same time the old, automatic ways of thinking and being often dissolve as they become more transparent – and less useful - to everyone involved.
In my own work with families, I use a combination of education (how children grow and develop, parenting skills, family dynamics etc), communication skill building, examining and adjusting family roles and family structure, along with some in-session practice in the open and honest expression of feeling.