Vidyasagar Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Allied Sciences, Nehru Nagar, New Delhi

Family and Relationship Issues

Help may be sought from a Psychotherapist in a complex family or relationship scenario. The process of therapy, and its approach is to empower each and every participant, individually and together.


In our society, especially India, family relationships are viewed as important for good mental health. Family therapy views a person’s symptoms as taking place in the larger context of the family.

It views problems as patterns that need adjusting within the family unit, as opposed to viewing one family member as a cause of the problems. Family therapy aims at understanding the family as a whole, understanding the complex, dynamic interactions that take place and how those interactions were formed, so as to help the identified patient (the person with the “problem” that everyone else in the family is concerned about).

Family therapy is a type of psychological counseling (psychotherapy) that helps to reduce distress experienced by the family, improve communication between family members and resolve conflicts.

Family therapy often includes all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Family therapy typically brings several family members together for therapy sessions. However, a family member may also see a family therapist individually.

Though the specific treatment plan depends on the family’s situation, family therapy can have the following goals:

Common Predisposing Scenarios:

  • Family therapy explores a family's strengths, such as caring for one another, and weaknesses, such as difficulty confiding in one another.
  • Explore family roles, rules and behavior patterns to identify issues that contribute to conflict — and ways to work through these issues.
  • Skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times.
  • Help improve troubled relationships between specific family members; it can address specific issues such as conflict between parents and children.
  • Family therapy can be especially effective with children who are displaying behaviour problems, as often the problems are inter-related with what is going on in the family at the moment.
  • Help the family deal with the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family.
  • Deal with a family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict.
  • Improve communication and help a family learn better ways of resolving conflicts.
  • Family therapy can help family members understand one another better and bring them closer together.


Relationships are an integral part of people’s lives. Whether family, friends, spouse or a romantic partner, the importance of a satisfactory relationship cannot be undermined. Happiness in a couple relationship is associated with considerable feelings of well-being and life satisfaction. Individuals/Couples who are dissatisfied in a relationship often go through periods of major stress which negatively impacts their well-being and their ability to handle their life tasks.

The reasons for feeling dissatisfied can be many - from unfulfilled expectations to not knowing how to handle differences in ideas or personalities, or lack of understanding, care or support felt in a relationship and many more.

At times, individuals continue to struggle alone with these relationship issues. Many married couples feel that their problems are best resolved by the elders or other family members. Individuals and couples find it hard to approach a psychologist/ therapist to address and resolve these relationship issues, often approaching one as a last resort.

One of the primary goals of couples therapy is to identify and resolve the reasons for conflict or dissatisfaction in the relationship. Further, couples also come for therapy not just when they have problems, but also to further enrich their relationship and further enhance their relationship satisfaction.

In couples therapy, sessions are conducted together with both partners. On other occasions, individuals also come in alone to address their relationship concerns.

The relationship/ couples therapist helps the partners:

  • have an understanding of what is causing difficulties between them;
  • identify ways in which each individual can change themselves in order to improve the relationship;
  • learn helpful ways of communicating;
  • learn ways to resolve conflicts in a healthy manner;
  • and find ways to enhance the positive feelings in their relationship.

At VIMHANS, we strive to turn your decision into an informed decision. Share this information with your family member, or loved one, if you feel they will benefit from reading it. Further, you can call us to know more, or book an appointment.

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VIMHANS Services for Family and Relationship Issues


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