Family Therapy becomes necessary when the conflict at home has become unmanageable for one or more of its members repeatedly. There are stages of family life more prone to these difficulties as well as outside circumstances that tend to bring out such conflicts. I work with families to better listen to and understand one another; to ask in effective ways for what they want and don't want rather than criticizing and complaining about each other; and to recognize the triggers for fighting and hurting one another.
I have been trained in multi-generational family therapy that sometimes includes seeing parents and children (or siblings) together, as well as in separate sessions as needs arise. I find that at the roots of such conflict are hurt feelings, feelings of being unappreciated or misunderstood, feelings of powerlessness and disrespect. Often a therapist's objectivity offers an alternative perspective and approach to long ingrained habits of relating between family members. New approaches and strategies can be learned to alleviate chronic family tensions.
Adolescents most often want more freedoms and trust, yet act out in anger and defiance rather than find more appropriate ways to achieve them. Parents are usually less aware of the underlying feelings and distressed over the acting out behaviors that need to be addressed for a child to earn more freedoms.
When there is a chronic stress (such as health issues and or work related stressors) with one or more members, family dynamics become intolerable and need to be addressed in a safe and controlled environment. I help families to listen to and hear one another and find new ways to communicate more effectively.