External Resources and Organisations
The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice
AFT, the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice, is a registered charity working to benefit the public by promoting effective family therapy and systemic services and high standards of professional training and practice.
About Family Therapy
Family and systemic psychotherapy – also known as family therapy – can help those in close relationships to better understand and support each other. It enables family members to express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely, understand each other’s experiences and views, appreciate each other’s needs, build on family strengths, and work together to make useful changes in their relationships and their lives. Family and Systemic Psychotherapy can work with people in any form of relationship, including couples, families or other groups of people in any setting. Research shows that family therapy is useful for children, young people, adults and older adults experiencing a wide range of difficulties and interpersonal issues and circumstances, across the family life cycle. See more on this page on what is family therapy.
Accessing family therapy
Family therapy is available on the NHS and GPs can refer to the mental health NHS teams or you may be able to self-refer via your local health trust’s website. Services can be in high demand and waiting list may be long in some areas. Family therapists also work in educational settings and schools or colleges may be able to make referrals. Independent family therapy can be self-funded, or may be funded through health insurance or Employee Assistance Programme, and some low-cost family therapy services are provided by training organisations or charities.
UKCP is the professional body which holds a national register of psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors. Only therapists who meet UKCP’s exacting standards and training requirements can be on their register. This is a voluntary register which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.