The therapeutic framework between individual therapy and family therapy is quite different. Family therapy focuses on the entire system, and works within the family, and its’ various parts, as a unit. The emphasis is on the inter-relatedness of the family members, identifying family strong-holds (i.e., acting out versus talking about feelings), and formulating new ways of allowing each person to be heard and valued by the other family members.
Although a family member may be called into an individual therapy session with a spouse or relative, the individual therapy framework is upheld. That is, the guest coming into the session is there in a supportive role at the request of the family member and/or therapist. Whereas, in family therapy, all members have an equal footing within the therapeutic framework.