Family therapy involves the members of a family all meeting together with a therapist. Ideally, no members are omitted, but family therapy is still possible and helpful even if not all family members are able or willing to participate.
Family therapy serves to identify complex relationship dynamics, as well as simpler ones, and these are demonstrated in the course of family therapy sessions, with problematic patterns being replicated, offering the opportunity for exploring alternative choices.
Communication is often indirect and subtle, and an important function of the therapist is to facilitate bringing about more clarity in transmitting messages and more active listening to other members of the family.
As one might imagine, it is very important for each member participating in family therapy to be given a voice in this process, in order for the process to be trusted enough for a family member to take the risk of changing old perspectives and behavioral choices.
As in couples work, the focus is on relationship dynamics, but individual issues are the pieces of the puzzle that shape both the problems and ultimately the solutions.