So what is the family therapy? Family therapy is a complex of psychotherapeutic methods aiming to harmonize family relations. Among researchers who made a noticeable contribution to the development of this approach the most known are: M. Bowen, J. Hailey, C. Whittaker and others.
In family therapy we, practical psychologists and consultants, face metaphoric description of the world and events most of all. First, as this fact is well known, there are many verbal metaphors describing family system, beginning from "a cell of society" ending with "a can with worms". Second, during our work we have at least two different images of the world and it means that different verbal and non-verbal messages represent real human characters, their values, direction of thoughts and feelings. Third, for our simple question: "What changes do you want for you and your family?" as a rule we receive infinite variety of metaphoric answers such as "happiness", "consent", "respect", "trust", "attachment" and so on.
The aim of family therapy is to decode these codes and reduce them to a common denominator. Besides, many families themselves without any play therapy ideas contain many allegoric comparisons. For example a wife who inherits her mother in everything (behaviour, abilities, views, values and even personal originality) is coming to look like her: mimics, turns of speech etc. If her mother is a bluestocking then her teen daughter as if showing an example can make up gaily and ponce around.
To prevent misunderstandings psychologists propose play therapy ideas. On receptions parents and children are allowed to crash cooking battery, fight with pillows etc. to remove stress. Similar play therapy ideas promote recovering good family relations, improving children behaviour. Metaphoric forms of relations in family therapy, play therapy ideas break states of exertion, anxiety, distrust. Little children understand family rules on the non-verbal level.
They notice that what psychologists call incongruence - disproportion between external behaviour and inner beliefs; they know sensory evidence of established repeat (or its absence); feel whether adults are in resort or non-resort states. All this information is accumulated on the unconscious level and adults can make it a part of conscious competence for themselves only by means of play, tales, improvisations in short - metaphors.
If we want our children to take part in family therapy we have to slave under their semantics, their life conception and their "magic perception". That is why play therapy ideas, symbolic form of relations in family therapy appear to be the most effective. The art of family therapy consists in the fact that a psychotherapist has to "incorporate" into a family and perceive reality the way that family members do. Such incorporation should be used to change family structure taking into consideration all subsystems of this complicated structure to create another, more productive way of existing.