Contextual family therapy is a nondirective form of therapy that, through promotion of mutual understanding and trust, fosters a dialogue between family members and makes change possible.
Contextual therapy was pioneered and developed by Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy. His central thesis was that disturbances in individuals and families are an expression and a consequence of an imbalance in giving and taking, entitlement and fulfillment, particularly in the realm of caring.
Contextual therapy tries to balance the ledger of merits and demerits by establishing a sense of mutual responsibility. When a family works on increasing fairness in their relationships, problems or symptoms will decrease. Fairness is based on a true understanding of the other’s side, being responsible and accountable for one’s own behaviors, and taking action to correct mistakes.