Therapy for children and families
Young people sometimes react differently to distress and can act out how they are feeling without realising it. They may become angry, detached or withdrawn. The behaviour may be worse at home or at school and they may display irrational fears or thoughts. They may become more argumentative or more isolated than usual, some may try to harm themselves or embark in risk-taking behaviour. I use child and teenage friendly techniques when working with young people such as therapy related games, art therapy, puppetry and role play.
If you are struggling with parenting, I can provide support to help you find a balance and what works for you and your child/family. This approach does not tell you how to be a parent but provides you with a toolbox of ideas and strategies. How you use them is entirely up to you; it is about finding what works best for you and your child.
Family therapy is often used in conjunction with treating an individual’s problem that is affecting the entire family, such as addiction, divorce, or behavioural problems. In family therapy, the unit of treatment is the family, as in any system, all things are interconnected. Instead of addressing problems solely on an individual basis, family counseling recognizes that individual problems within the system affect other members of the family, so the solution is to involve all members in therapy. The goal of family therapy is to meet the needs of all of the members in the family and for the family to function better as a unit.
Some areas I can help you with (not limited to):
Behaviour or emotional problems
A child’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist, and will likely need to be addressed, within the context of the family. Families are seen as an integrated, interconnected unit in which psychological functioning is influenced by each and every family member individually and collectively as an entire system. In family therapy, there is no traditional identified patient; the focus is on relationship patterns and communication among family members. For example, when a child has a behaviour problem, the therapist is likely to perceive the child’s difficulties within the larger context of the family system, rather than his/her individual deficits.
Most of us strive to be great parents but we may also find ourselves confused and frustrated by the seemingly endless challenges of parenthood. As both parents of toddlers and teenagers can attest, such challenges are evident across all developmental stages. I offer support with common parenting challenges (i.e., bedtime issues, picky eating, tantrums, behaviour problems, risk-taking, etc.); as well as the various learning lessons that are simply part of growing up (i.e., starting school, being respectful, making friends, being responsible, making good choices, etc.). My focus is on positive parenting techniques which teaches discipline in a way that builds a child’s self-esteem and supports a mutually respectful parent-child relationship.
Family therapy is often short term. It may include all family members or just those able or willing to participate. Your specific treatment plan will depend on your family’s situation. Family therapy sessions can teach you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions. Family therapy can help you improve troubled relationships with your partner, children or other family members. You may address specific issues such as marital or financial problems, conflict between parents and children, or the impact of substance abuse or a mental illness on the entire family.