Community Family Therapy: Services Offered
It is important to me that families gain the practical skills to make and maintain the changes they want to see.
I describe my practice as community, wrap-around family therapy because I feel that changes to the entire family system are more productive, endure longer and are most supportive when as many people are involved as possible. This is important even when the initial concern is because a child is acting out/struggling and the rest of the family seems stable.
Like in the old adage, "it takes a village," I also work to help parents create and maintain support systems for their children and themselves. I am trained in and enjoy providing community-based support, so on a case-by-case basis, I can provide home or school-based support and consultation, collaborate with other clinicians, medical providers, school staff, or extended family and help develop a village to support you and your children.
I often use a combined approach in family therapy; I may meet with just the adult(s)/parent(s) to help encourage important shifts to make home life function better. I also think it is important to help parents envision, establish and maintain their parenting role in the family so there is a hierarchy between adults, teens and children. Kids resist this at times, of course, but despite their resistance they really desire and need their parents to be in charge. I can help with this. I also provide parent coaching, couples work and practical, solution-focused guidance, as needed, throughout this process with me.
When it is indicated, I can also meet with kids on their own to initiate a therapeutic relationship with them and understand things from their perspective. I then bring parents and kids together in family sessions where I help facilitate improved relationships and communication patterns among all family members. I am experienced in and enjoy working with a diverse description of "family" which includes: nuclear biological families, foster families, adoptive families, step-families, same sex families, extended families, etc, etc. I welcome everyone into my practice.
My family sessions will possibly be the traditional 50 minutes in length, but at times with family therapy, the sessions may be scheduled for 80-90 minutes. I have found that longer sessions are necessary to be as inclusive as possible to everyone in the room.
Whoever said that love was easy must not have been in a relationship! Marriage and committed relationships are hard and it takes a lot of work to maintain a stable, lasting one. I work with couples to help them remember why they got together in the first place and to dust off their relationship.
Most relationships from time to time need a bit of brushing off and support around topics of communication, money, intimacy, conflict, parenting, fidelity, etc. I have enjoyed working with very diverse couples with equally complicated stories and issues.
Individual Therapy with Adults, Children and Adolescents
My initial training as a psychotherapist was in providing individual therapy. I have since expanded my practice to include family, couples and life coaching work too. There are times however when individual therapy may be indicated as a preferred treatment method.
For child or adolescent therapy, this may be offered when the child or adolescent prefers to develop a therapeutic relationship to work on personal issues that are best addressed in a 1:1 conversation. Type of treatment will be determined after I meet with the parent(s) and the child to talk about what the goals of treatment will be. If individual treatment is established, I likely will request to meet with the family periodically so I can stay in touch with how things are going in the family system and to coach parents to support the changes within their child or adolescent.
For adult individual therapy, I meet 1:1 to help provide guidance to sustain change. I have worked with adults who feel “stuck” in their lives, are experiencing a period of loss or transition (including separation or divorce), have short or long term concerns that are barriers to their happiness, or are looking to create a stronger sense of themselves. I am described as a strong advocate, an active participant and a trusted confidant in therapy.
Sometimes what you need is a coach; someone who will help you identify areas in your personal, family or professional life that are not going as well as you would like. I can help you specify these areas of stress or conflict (ways you may be “getting in your own way?”) and create a specific, practical plan to make significant and sustainable changes. I help outline goals, give homework, coach through the hard times, and celebrate and motivate you through your progress.
I am available by phone, in person and through email so noticeable and sustainable change can be supported in an ongoing way. Much improvement can be achieved in a short amount of time with Personal Coaching support.
Grief & Hospice Counseling
When a family member or friend is ill or experiencing a medical complication, it is often a very challenging time. I can work with individuals, extended family as well as medical and hospice care providers to facilitate positive and supportive communication. I can help with processing feelings of grief and overwhelm, as well as help address stress and family tension. My supportive services can be either in my office or home-based.
Once your goals have been reached, and we have concluded therapy, I can remain available to you in the future for what I call “booster sessions.” These sessions are usually brief (1-3 meetings), where former clients come back in to work with me to get practical help and support as needed.
I feel strongly that it is important to know that you are welcome back to work with me whenever you feel that life has become more complicated. I can help you get back on track quickly so you can maintain the family stability that you want and deserve.
School Consultation & Student Observation
As a certified teacher and seasoned family therapist, I have the unique ability to work with teachers, school administrators and families to help address the needs of complex students.
My school consultation process is focused on addressing the identified needs of particular students with complicated social, emotional or learning-style presentations that are adversely impacting their school success.
Areas of school-based concern that I am adept in consulting on are:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Attention Deficit Disorder
- Emotional Disregulation
- Learning Disabilities
- Selective Mutism
- Social Anxiety
- Home-School communication
For more details on my work with school and students, please visit my
School Consultation page.