Family Therapy

Family life can get complicated and difficult at times. Working together as a group we can examine interactions between family members and identify the root causes of the issues you are dealing with. We can then make a plan to implement change and learn how to support one another through that change.

Is family therapy right for your family?

Every family has problems and not every family problem requires therapy to solve – let’s just get that out there now! That said, some problems may be quite severe and the family unit may suffer from poor communication and/or strategies for disrupting unhealthy or dangerous activity. For example, is your or teen child struggling in school or demonstrating inappropriate or dangerous behaviors? Are you struggling to communicate with an adult sibling? Is a poor relationship with one or both of your parents or even distant relatives creating problems for you? Are relationships within your family unit or activities taken by members of your family causing severe anxiety or stress (e.g. such as in the case of substance abuse or verbal or physical abuse)?

These are some of the conditions under which you may want to consider family therapy.

Every family goes through rough patches.

It’s incredible what we put each other through, isn’t it? But look around closely, and you’ll find most people in one way or another are struggling with some sort of challenge with one or more members of their family. The challenges facing families can also be incredibly varied – misbehaving children, loved ones abusing drugs, parents communicating poorly, siblings being overly competitive and judgmental – the list goes on and on.

Fundamentally, communication, trust, and strategies for disrupting destructive behavior are the cornerstones of a healthy family dynamic.

Family therapy can help your family dynamic improve significantly.

Sometimes, for one reason or another, it can be very difficult to express what we feel to members of our family or even express those feeling the right way. Our family therapy sessions will include work with your family as a group and occasionally sub-units if appropriate (e.g. such as the parents by themselves, just one person at a time, etc.) to clarify exactly what the issues are and how to best address them.To be clear, this is a collaborative effort and may involve outside exercises occasionally to help make progress on the work we’re doing; however, the goal is worthwhile. We will work toward mutual acceptance, improved communication, increased trust, and better strategies for disrupting damaging behavior as it occurs. I’ll also use my years of experience as a family therapist to help you see through to the other side – it helps to know your family can heal.

Your family can heal.

We say life is short, but in the middle of a family trauma, it can feel admittedly quite long. It’s much better to have a supportive and loving family than one in which the family unit’s dynamics create stress, anxiety, anger, fear, or despair for the loved ones in the family. Again, every family has problems, but some are worse than others and deserve the direct intervention of a family therapist. As I’ve told countless families over the years, believe it or not – you can get through it. Your family can heal. Please call or email me today and we can talk about what’s bothering you.

You may still have questions. Let’s try to address them.

Our family should be able to work out our problems - why do we need therapy?

Like I said earlier, every family has problems and most problems do not require therapy – that’s a fact. However, family therapy may help you if your family struggles with one or more of the following situations:

1. Your child or teen is behaving in an inappropriate or dangerous manner and you can’t seem to “get through” to him or her.
2. Communication just isn’t working – and only seems to create the same or worse arguments, repeatedly.
3. Anger, fear, or stress are the dominant emotions within one or more family relationships, and efforts to resolve these feelings are failing.
4. A key relationship in the family has fallen apart – such as between the parents, between child or adult siblings, or even between one family member and a close relative.
5. One family member has given into a cycle of addictive or dangerous behavior, and no one knows what to do.
6. Current or previous patterns of abuse – verbal and/or physical – have severely undermined trust and communication within the family.

These are some of the situations to look out for, but there are others. Fundamentally, if there is strain in the family that cannot be resolved despite the best efforts of you and loved ones, family therapy may be able to help.

Family therapy is expensive and a big time commitment.
Family strain is stressful and unhealthy for those involved, but you may find solutions are just around the corner. Frequently, family therapy sessions will help to resolve a defined situation for the family (e.g. inappropriate child behavior at school and/or home), and once the sessions are complete, your family will have better strategies for coping with a similar situation in the future. The goal is to create a healthier family dynamic overall, which helps not just today but also saves you and your loved ones from years of unnecessary emotional trauma.