Psychology Cares Clinical Services

Families Clinical Services

At Psychology Cares, our clinical family services are dedicated to healing your family and encouraging growth and optimisation. Using evidence-based treatment models, developed by our Centre for Research and Clinical Innovation [CRCI], we guide families through the challenges they face to build stronger, healthier connections.  

Families face a multitude of challenges such as adjusting to separation, divorce or bereavement, moving house, financial worries, and dealing with mental health difficulties of family members. Children, in particular, are sensitive to family dynamics and can be negatively affected by unresolved conflicts if they do not have appropriate outlets for their emotions [Department for Work and Pensions, 2021]. 

Family members play a crucial role in recognising signs of mental health issues in their loved one. Through collaborative efforts with patients and their families, our services focus on assessing, identifying, and treating underlying issues.  We aim to enhance communication strategies and empower families with the tools to navigate conflicts constructively. Our overarching goal is to build resilience within families, promoting positive change and contributing to the development of a healthy family dynamic.

Family Ties: Promoting the Fabric of Family Structures and their Interactive Emotional and Regulatory Units

What defines a family? And why does understanding these dynamics matter? 

Family systems can provide a nurturing environment where individuals can incubate, regulate, and thrive throughout their lives. Importantly, families are not always uniform. Factors such as socioeconomic circumstances, care environment and family systems can contribute to the unique experiences of each member. These dynamics can be expressed within culture, race, and attachment systems.

System Theory: Family as an Interactive Emotional Unit

The concept and the experience of “family” has evolved significantly in the modern world. The traditional nuclear families remain common in the West however family structures have become increasingly diverse. The definition, meaning and function of family are beginning to reflect global societal shifts. 

From the rise of non-traditional family structures to the diversification of familial roles and responsibilities, the traditional nuclear family model is being redefined in response to changing social realities. Moreover, globalisation and migration have facilitated the cross-cultural exchange of familial practices and ideologies, further complicating our understanding of family dynamics.

Family as a Dynamic Living System

Values, beliefs, and norms can shape the way families interact and function. In many traditions, the division of labour assigns mothers to caregiving roles while fathers are expected to provide for the family financially. These traditional roles are exposed to additional stressors and strains where mothers can also have increasing pressures to not only be care providers, but also simultaneously be household earners. The breakdown of family structures means there are increasing amounts of fatherless children, often due to parental discord.  Also, these vital family structures come under pressure due to global man-made and natural disasters such as war, famine, and displacement.

Understanding the diverse nature of families and the pressures that they can come under is paramount in providing effective clinical services. But, the study of family dynamics is fraught with methodological and conceptual challenges which demand careful consideration and adaptation. Data collection methods and theoretical frameworks in family research, and its clinical application, must be constantly updated to account for the changing concept of family. For example, women’s presence in paid employment outside the home and the impact this has on child rearing. Additionally, the measurement of familial outcomes poses a significant challenge to researchers and clinicians alike seeking to understand and provide care for families. At Psychology Cares, our Centre for Research and Clinical Innovation (CRCI) and LifeLab(LiL), with specialist and dedicated clinical research, continue to contribute to the development and improvement of family wellbeing.

Key Facts for Families Mental Health:

Poor parental mental health has been associated with poor outcomes in children.

½ of all children born in the UK today will experience family breakdown.

Depressive symptoms in teenagers have a significant negative impact on family functioning, and poor family functioning can increase symptoms of depression in teenagers.

Maternal mental health problems significantly negatively impact their relationship with their partners and their children, and can lead to family breakdown.

Family resilience refers to the ability of the family to endure and recover from stressful events, emerging with increased strength and resourcefulness.

A positive relationship between grandparent and grandchild can mitigate some of the negative impact parental depression has on children.

Clinical Services
Connecting Care - Other Clinical Services
Information & Resources for Families
Clinical Care for Families