Being part of a family can bring us a sense of contentment, safety and support. However, family life can be stressful at times. Difficult events such as divorce, illness and crisis can present challenges that can shake the stability of the family. Even positive events such as marriage, the birth of a new child or a teen leaving for college can become overwhelming and stressful transitions. When there is a problem within the family, it can leave members feeling disconnected and can hinder the family's ability to function.
Counseling can help. In counseling, family members can gain a better understanding of each other, improve communication, learn to resolve conflicts effectively, reclaim a sense of harmony and have more joy within the family.
Some common issues that families bring to counseling include:
- separation or divorce
- blended families
- parent-child conflicts
- lack of cooperation
- ineffective communication
- behavior problems
- parenting issues
- coping with illness, loss or crisis
- adjustment to life transitions
- raising a special needs child
With families, I most often rely on Systems Theory. This theory is built on the principle that people do not operate individually in the world, but as part of a system, usually a family. What happens with one part of the system has an effect on the others in the system. Thus, when one member within the family is having problems, it affects the whole family. Also, every family system has well-developed patterns, both healthy and unhealthy, which exist and operate to maintain family balance. Sometimes, these unhealthy patterns can result in a lack of harmony. Counseling can help members to recognize unhealthy patterns, gain understanding of how their behavior affects others and put healthier ways of interacting into place.
In addition to Systems Theory, I also use techniques from other counseling approaches including: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution-Focused Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy, Play Therapy and Positive Parenting with a Plan: F.A.M.I.L.Y. Rules.
To schedule an appointment or to discuss any concerns, contact me by phone at (256) 655-6762 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family."
"'Who are you' said the Caterpillar...'I-I hardly know, sir, just at present,' Alice replied rather shyly, 'at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.'"
Lewis Carroll, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'