To understand a persons behaviour one must see them in interaction with their family and community. There is a broader view of each person being an organic part of the whole and part of a unit that serves a greater and less defined need that can only be seen from a wider perspective.

The family systems therapy perspective holds that individuals are best understood through the observation of the interactions they have within a family setting.

Problematic symptoms are often viewed as an expression of dysfunction within a family. These patterns are thought to be passed across several generations. There is a pioneering perspective to the family systems conclusion that a persons problem may be a symptom of generational handover and not just a symptom of a persons personal maladjustment, history and psychosocial development. The FS perspective is grounded on a number of assumptions being: That a persons problematic behaviour serves as a function or purpose for the family: and can be a function of the familys inability to operate productively, especially during their development years: and a symptom of dysfunctional patterns handed down across generations.

There are many approaches taken by individual family therapists with different views and perspectives though the central principle that all seem to agree on is that a person is connected to living systems and that change in one part of the system reverberates throughout all other parts. A person is viewed as an active part of their immediate community. The treatment approach often comprehensively addressing other family members and a larger context than just an individuals problems. A family has its own unique set of traits to which family therapy endeavours to observe. The interaction of other family members and the broader contexts to which all choose to live within become the primary focus.

The perspective being that a family is functioning unit that is more than the sum of its individual members. The context of the families ineractions providing greater understanding as to how people function in relationship to others and how they behave in a social setting. Behaviour as is expressed by individuals is essentially viewed in context to there family and the greater society.