You have arrived here because you are wondering whether family therapy might be helpful. Family is important to you. You may have concerns about a family members’ alcohol or drug use. Maybe you are worried about your teen or having a hard time connecting with them. Perhaps you and your partner are struggling to communicate or to get on the same page in your relationship or as parents.
Family is the foundation we grow from. When families struggle to get on the same page, often the result is hurting one another, trying to make changes that end up being unhelpful (even with the best intentions), parents parenting differently and sending conflicting messages to their kids, avoiding conflict, using drugs or alcohol to cope, yelling and screaming with seemingly no resolution. These are just a few of the many ways families can struggle while attempting to support each other.
It can feel overwhelming trying to make changes in a family alone and often not possible to make lasting changes without collaborating as a family.
Almost every family experiences hardship as their children develop into teenagers. Studies show that these years are the most difficult that parents will face. It can be extremely challenging to cope with the transition of your child progressing towards adulthood. As a parent you may feel isolated, anxious, and that you’re not doing a good enough job. Many parents feel that they are dealing with a “new” person as they see so many changes take place emotionally and socially. These changes teens experience affect the whole family. The good news is that you’re not alone and there is hope that your family will find stability again.
For more information on parent support click here.
Alcohol and drug abuse can tear families apart and creates a system of secrets, unhealthy relationship patterns and supports unhealthy coping and avoidance. These effects last a lifetime and impact other relationships outside of the family system. Alcohol and drug use effects the whole family whether it’s a parent or parent(s) use, teens or adult children if there is unhealthy or too much use of alcohol or drugs, the impact goes beyond the user.
Family therapy provides an opportunity for families to learn about unhealthy alcohol or drug use and how it negatively impacts the whole family. Family therapy can be a loving, healthy way to support a loved one who struggles with substance use or abuse and help heal the wounds that lead to unhealthy behaviors. We provide support for families of teens and young adults who struggle with alcohol and/or drug abuse.
To learn more about substance abuse treatment visit our substance abuse page here.
We work with families who want to decrease conflict and get back to having connected and trusting relationships with one another. In family therapy, we seek to gain a full picture of all the factors that influence each family member. This helps the family therapist and family create a better understanding about where the family struggles stem from and provides a guide for finding more helpful solutions for the family.
Family therapy begins with an initial 20-minute phone call with one of our family therapists to assess the needs of the family briefly and to identify who will participate in family therapy. At this time, an initial appointment will be scheduled for the family at a time that works for all who will participate to attend.
During the initial two-hour assessment with the family therapist will gather all information that is influencing the family dynamics. This includes information about relationships between family members, current problems, goals, previous treatment, education, substance abuse, medical issues, mental health struggles, and history of trauma, among other topics. We work with you to support your identified goals as we believe that you are the expert of your family.
Following the assessment, sessions will generally be 60 minutes and may include some or all family members with the understanding that the goal is to highlight your strengths as a family, identify strategies to increase effective communication and understanding and practice skills. The impact of family therapy is families feeling secure that they can handle life’s ups and downs and create a clear roadmap to build trust again.
Your teenager is not alone in feeling this way. They often feel like family therapy will be an opportunity for their parents and a therapist to “gang up” on them and fear being attacked. This can create a lot of anxiety and defensiveness about starting this process. In our approach, we believe that your teenager has powerful insight that is essential to the family therapy process. We would go as far to say that we cannot do it without their input and perspective. We encourage you to ask your teenager to attend a minimum of one session to get a feel for the process and the therapist before deciding how they feel about family therapy.
Sometimes it’s more helpful for teenagers to have their own individual therapist for several reasons and we do provide individual therapy to support teens. Teens and parents may not feel ready for family therapy and individual therapy can provide support for a parent or teen. We believe all family members have strengths and assets that are crucial to making long lasting changes for each individual member of the family and we see family relationships heal more effectively by involving the family.
As a parent you are a crucial piece to your teens process and your teen needs your help, despite their defense that they can do it on their own. We encourage parents to consider their own resistance or fears about engaging in family therapy and we are here to help you process through those as well to make family therapy feel more comfortable.
Sometimes it feels impossible to find a time when all family members are free. Between your work life, your teen’s social schedule, extra-curricular activates and accommodating other family member’s agendas, it might feel like there’s just not enough time in the day. We work with families to find time that can work with everyone’s schedules and offer video sessions in addition to in-person for times when travel may get in the way. Engaging in family therapy is a group effort and may, at times, require flexibility with scheduling. Now is the time to get started.
To learn more about online therapy click here.
We offer a free 20-minute phone consultation so we can answer any questions you might have about family therapy or other services we provide. We want to make sure you get connected with the right help for you and your family. To schedule a call today click here.