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What exactly is Systemic Psychotherapy?

Systemic Psychotherapy is a non-blaming and supportive way of working with individuals and families. The basic theory of Systemic Psychotherapy is that problems exists within a context and is perpetuated (not caused) by interactional patterns. It moves away from traditional psychology in the sense that Systemic Psychotherapists are less likely to think that individuals have problems due to some individual pathology that is within himself or herself. However, that is not to say that Systemic Psychotherapists disregard psychological diagnosis or ignore individual responsibility.

When seeing a professional who is trained in Systemic Psychotherapy, you are likely going to have the professional ask you a series of questions to help him or her understand the context of your situation. During this time, the intention is not to put you on the spot but rather, the Systemic Psychotherapist is trying to make sense of your challenge within the context of your social relationships and background. This is also the reason why Systemic Psychotherapists might invite other important people into the sessions in order to have another perspective.

Systemic Psychotherapy has its roots in United States, Palo Alto and was started by a Psychiatrist named Don Jackson. He wanted to place more emphasis on the relationship between the ones who "need" help and their significant others. This idea started in the 1950s and developed to be one of the most well researched and empirically based approach in helping individuals and families.

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