Identifying Patient in the Family

In family counseling, the identified patient is the family member whose symptom's result in thier being referred for treatment but also the one whose symptoms serves as a metaphor or may be symbolic of a family's problem. This may be the boy from a family where domestic violence occurs that gets into fights in school. This may also be the constantly arguing and disliked girl whose parent's are in constant marital conficts. The family symptom carrier then is seen by family counselors as the family scout or ambassador who is representing a larger group of people with a common issue. Many family counseling experiences begin with the referral of the family symptom carrier.