Families can benefit from therapy when they experience any stressful event that may strain family relationships, such as financial hardship, divorce, or the death of a loved one. In addition, it can be effective in treating mental health concerns that impact the family as a whole, such as depression, substance abuse, chronic illness, and food issues, or everyday concerns, like communication problems, interpersonal conflict, or behavioral problems in children and adolescents.
Family counseling aims to promote understanding and collaboration among family members in order to solve the problems of one or more individuals. For example, if a child is having social and academic problems, therapy will focus on the family patterns that may contribute to the child's acting out, rather than evaluating the child's behavior alone. As the family uncovers the source of the problem, they can learn to support the child and other family members and work proactively on minimizing or altering the conditions that contribute to the child's unwanted behavior.
People define family in deeply personal and cultural ways. There is the traditional nuclear family of two parents and their children, a blended family involving step-family members, extended family of grandparents or aunts/uncles may be an important aspect of one’s definition, and for some it may be a single parent and their child/children. Grandparents may have adopted the parenting role for their grandchildren; adoptive families may have birth parents still involved. The definitions and make-ups of families are unique and special to your particular familial world.
We are willing to work with families of all kinds to develop better communication skills, improve the quality of relationships, and work through particularly challenging and/or traumatic events. We look at the dynamics and systems that are present in your family and develop improved methods for living and loving together.
In family therapy, it is the relationship among all members of the family that we are focusing on. We take an eclectic approach to improving the way those relationships function. We will often ask family members to practice skills learned in therapy through homework assignments. We may request that you create new family rituals as a way of developing closeness and increasing positive interactions. We will collaborate with the family as you all identify and create change in the ways you function and meet each other’s needs.
One or more members of the family may be in, or may need to be referred to, individual therapy with another counselor. However, we may meet with individual members of the family as needed to facilitate the work we are doing as a whole.