Psychoanalytic Family Therapy and Its Importance


As a social community, the family in all civilizations has acted as an essential element of development because it is the key to the stability and prosperity of society. The family’s failure to perform its social functions of reproduction and socialization has led to the depopulation and the deterioration of the upbringing of the young generation. In this case, there is a need for scientific understanding and analysis of the trends in social processes that contribute to strengthening the family. There is a prospect of development and approbation in the clinical practice of family psychoanalytic psychotherapy based on the psychoanalytic method.


Psychoanalytic family therapy performs numerous functions to reach an end goal. Among the tools of psychotherapy are the analysis and correction of interpersonal relations, personality traits, and psychological defenses of all family members, prevention of family conflicts, and rehabilitation of the family. Therapy solves multiple problems because the theoretical and methodological basis of psychoanalytic family therapy is Freud’s theory of drives, ego psychology, and object relations theory (Benghozi, 2022). The analytical material makes it possible to explain the mechanisms of interaction of intrapsychic and interpsychic phenomena in the family and the reasons for forming various types of family pathology (Benghozi, 2022). Family psychotherapy is multifunctional and has critical goals to achieve a solid community unit. It has a theoretical and methodological basis that contributes to identifying the different types of family pathologies. It, in turn, opens up the possibility of an individual approach and a corresponding treatment.

Psychoanalytic family therapy has the characteristics of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and short-term psychotherapy. It aims at recognizing in 10 to 50 sessions the phenomena of desire and resistance, transference and countertransference manifested in the individual, between family members, and between the family and the psychoanalyst (Zhenlei & Scharff, 2021). Attention is paid to the family’s request, and the work goes with it, as the family usually applies in a pronounced crisis. It is possible to start treatment after the first 6-10 sessions, the first and second stages of work that allow valuable data gathering (Zhenlei & Scharff, 2021). Resistance in the family is collective and more often overt than individual therapy. Any psychoanalytic therapy aims to analyze resistance and connect the past and present through transference (Yu, 2019). The issue requires 10 to 50 sessions that help determine the depth of the problem and begin to eliminate it directly, thus strengthening the family.

Modern family therapy is dominated by approaches based on systems theory. On the way from psychoanalysis to family therapy, real relationship problems come to the fore, while unreal and unconscious processes are ignored. Family difficulties are disharmonious, pathological, or abnormal family relationships provoked by the unmet basic needs of one of its members (Colapinto, 2019). Solving such a problem requires additional efforts on the part of each of the members and the whole group on the way to achieving harmony and mutual understanding, becoming mature, and everyday life functioning. In this way, systems theory contributes to a multifaceted approach to understanding the problem. With the help of a specialist, couples learn to talk again and solve their objective, not imaginary, problems (Le Bouille, 2020). It helps strengthen the family bond and take the relationship to the next level.


Family psychotherapy looks at current marital, parenting, and personal difficulties as compensatory efforts to control, repair, and relive old conflicting relationships that existed in the parenting family. Family issues can best be resolved through a relationship established with a therapist. Therapists examine the factors that ensure the persistence of the problem, supported by existing family interactions. They, therefore, seek to identify the behavior that reinforces the problem. A functioning family avoids symptoms and can function as required by changing circumstances.


Benghozi, P. (2022). The undreamable and the narrative neo-container in family therapy. Dialogue, 235(1), 103-116.

Colapinto, J. (2019). Structural family therapy. Encyclopedia of couple and family therapy, 2820-2828.

Le Bouille, J. (2020). Diagnostic approach and care process in psychoanalytic family therapy: What kind of link is possible?. Le Divan familial, 45(2), 123-133.

Yu, F. (2019). Scaling questions in couple and family therapy. Encyclopedia of Couple and Family, 49(1), Therapy, 2560-2562.

Zhenlei, L., & Scharff, J. S. (2021). A Chinese family: teaching and learning in a clinical case conference. Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in China, 4(1), 123-133.

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PsychologyWriting. "Psychoanalytic Family Therapy and Its Importance." September 17, 2023.