We have thirty years of experience in family and relationship therapy. We teach healthy parenting skills especially with difficult adolescents and young adults. We help families deal with addiction as well as depression and anxiety that affect the family system
FAMILY THERAPY WITH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Most all children or adolescents come into therapy because one or both parents are concerned about a behavioral problem that their child or adolescent is exhibiting. Certainly, family and individual therapy with children and adolescents is extremely important when there may be indications of physical, sexual or emotional trauma. Also, specialized therapeutic interventions are indicated for kids who exhibit neurological problems, such as autism or ADHD.
Aside from dealing with victims of trauma, for the most part, the purpose of family therapy with adolescents is to help the adolescent and family create an environment for the adolescent’s successful separation and individuation from the family in a responsible, prudent and safe manner into early adulthood. Navigating this stage of development, in which the adolescent may become conflicted between the need to be free balanced against the need to be responsible, can become a battleground, affecting everyone in the family.
Dr. Paul Standal believes that behavioral issues with preadolescent children, for the most part, reflect conflicts between the parents or caretakers. He helps parents accommodate differing parenting styles, goals and values in order to “get on the same page.”
Family therapy is used to assess symptoms, clarify and resolve issues, transferring tools and skills learned in counseling and changing the family’s dynamics.
Goals of Family Therapy
1. Identify and resolve obstacles to a safe, cooperative and mutually satisfying home environment. 2. Deal with the issues that interfere with open communication and honest self-expression. 3. Provide corrective interpersonal experience. 4. Provide training in problem solving and social skills. 5. Clarify rules and expectations. 6. Develop clear consequences for rules and expectations. 7. Promote family cohesion, warmth and positive interactions. 8. Interrupt negative cycles of behavior. 9. Help parents reinforce involvement with non-deviant peers. 10. Training to increase positive/responsible behaviors and interaction. 11. Increase expressions of positive feelings. 12. Decrease expressions of discontent. 13. Decrease anger using relaxation techniques, appropriate venting and reframing. 14. Teach assertiveness skills, helping to understand real rights and responsibilities. 15. Learn techniques for monitoring self-defeating thoughts and false entitlements. 16. Encourage sobriety and recovery efforts along with participation at 12-step programs. 17. Reduce oppositional behaviors using non-threatening confrontational approaches. 18. Healthy expressions of grief to allow for resolution of loss. 19. Assess and intervene for depression or self-harm. Intervene as needed. 20. Assess for physical factors contributing to hopelessness and helplessness. 21. Assess and intervene for anxiety.
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