Is your family experiencing challenges that have become difficult to manage?
Despite everyone’s best intentions, maintaining a healthy family can be very challenging. Parenting issues are probably one of the very deepest sources of pain and anxiety in the parents I work with. Whether your family is just beginning to experience continued stress or in the middle of a serious issue, the Family Therapy can be a powerful intervention and support system for all members.
Signs that Family Therapy might be helpful
- Concerns about anxiety, depression or suicidal ideation in any family member
- Frequent outbursts of anger or resentment
- Incidents of risky behaviors
- Dealing with grief and loss
- Asperger’s/autism spectrum issues
- Social isolation or bullying
- Challenges at school including ADHD behaviors
- Supporting a child through divorce or separation
- Social media/video game addiction
The role of Family Therapy in the family system
Every family is a unique system, with its unique strengths and challenges. The family system is largely created through the beliefs held by the parents as well as the interactions they have with their significant other and with the children. Whether children feels safe and loved has much to do with how safe and loved the parents feel within the family system.
Often, the behaviors exhibited by children are a symptom of how healthy the family system is. In my experience, it often doesn’t work to just focus on the child who is acting out or in trouble in some way. I notice that issues within a family are often trans-generational—that is, they have been inherited from previous generations and continue to create stress and difficulty. Uncovering these issues with the whole family’s participation and negotiating more healthy ways of interacting can be very powerful and create a new sense of connection and freedom for everyone.
How I help
I often mentor parents in communication and anger management skills and help them gain insight into how and why a child may be struggling. Sometimes I meet individually with the child, sometimes individually with the parents, and sometimes we meet together as a family. Each system is unique are requires and unique approach. In most cases, success in the therapy shows as the ability of the entire family system to become more healthy, supportive, honest and trusting.
I have a lot of clinical experience and special training in working with children and young adults, including those with trauma, attachment disorders and ADHD. (In fact, I myself have ADHD and one of our children (now grown up) also has it.
When to pursue Family Therapy
It’s easy to wait until the situation with a child has become a crisis. While I am very experienced and comfortable working in a crisis situation, it’s easier to re-build trust in the system and do the deep exploration that therapy requires before a crisis has set in. Be watchful of early signs and symptoms listed earlier on this page. I offer a four-session Child and Family Assessment process that allows me to do an in-depth analysis of the current signs and symptoms. From there I can make educated recommendations for how/if more treatment is needed.
Sometimes therapy is not the right solution for a child and his or her family or is not the entire solution. I screen my child clients not only for psychological issues but also for medical ones that can create psychological issues. These can include parasites, Lyme disease, allergies, and other factors that research has shown to influence mental health. While I am not trained to treat these medical conditions, I will work with you find an appropriate resource.
What benefits can you expect from Family Therapy?
The benefits of Child and Family therapy vary based on the issues that caused them seek therapy and the motivation of each person in the system. Below are some examples of the types of benefits that families have achieved:
- More open dialogue in the family about challenges
- Reduced conflict
- Greater awareness and understanding of each other’s needs
- Anger management skills
- Healthier mental outlook on life; stronger coping skills
- The ability to give and receive effective feedback
- Healthier social networks
- More confidence, better performance at school
- Reduction or elimination of risky behaviors
- Stronger connections, feeling loved and loving
Free initial phone consultation
If you’d like to get started, I would invite you to contact me by phone or email (below) so we can assess your situation and determine whether it makes sense for us to meet for an initial session. What do you have to lose? Get in touch today.