Maybe your family looks great on the outside but this isn't the family life you want. You don't expect things to be easy but you feel like things seem harder than they should be. Sometimes you feel confident in your plan, and your parenting skills, other days worry that you are doing it all wrong. Maybe you worry that you don't know how to give your children the support they need.
How I can Help
The truth is that there is no one "right" way to raise children. Most of the families who come to see me are great parents who want the best for their children. The difficulty is that most of the parenting books out there, just like other health or weight loss advice, for example, are very general. It assumes everything will go according to plan or that your child will fit into the norm. Well, the standard advice for kids who are picky eaters may not apply if your child has food allergies and your parenting books may not have told you how to handle a teenager struggling with substance abuse. Examples like this can leave both parents and children/teens feeling frustrated and defeated.
We will work together to figure out where your family is and where you would like to be. Sometimes families come to me with one member exhibiting problematic behaviour, but the family is a system. When one member is affected, everyone is affected. We treat the family as a whole. We will work to understand everyone's thoughts and feelings, the root of the behaviour and how everyone is responding.
If the behaviour is a result of something occurring within the family, we will work to address that in therapy. If it is an outside source, such as bullying, for example, we will also address that and how the family is responding to the child in distress. During family therapy, the entire family will learn coping skills and new ways to communicate with one another.
What To Expect From Therapy
Your first session will involve an initial assessment of your well being as well as an intake of your personal/family history and background.
For families with school-aged children, I often recommend the initial session is completed in my office with the parents alone. This allows me to gather relevant information and saves time. Learn more aboutchild and family therapy here.
Depending on the situation and the number of family members involved, an assessment may take several sessions for family therapy. Subsequent therapy sessions are 50 minutes in length and are unique to each family's treatment plan.