By Karen McIntyre, LMFT
Family counseling, sometimes referred to as “family systems therapy,” looks at the family as a whole as well as the smaller subsets in a family to see what is not functioning well and to teach the skills the family needs at that point in time. Families are always changing – the way families live with young children is very much different than how a family functions with teens. In different life developmental stages different skills are needed to keep a family running smoothly!
A trained family therapist can help
- couples in their relationship,
- parents with their kids,
- blended families or co-parenting family issues,
- foster parenting or adoption issues,
- sibling issues and just about everything in between.
Picture your family unit as being the engine of a car. You don’t know what is wrong with the car, but every time you step on the gas, it chokes and sputters and loses power. You need that car to get around in life and so you keep pushing on the gas peddle harder and harder – hoping it will just kick into gear and start working. In reality though, the more you push the car to work the way you want it to without realizing the mechanical issues it might have due to where it is in it’s life span, the worse it runs. Finally, if you realize the car just isn’t running as it used to, a car owner might take it to a mechanic who is trained in diagnosing and fixing what needs “help” in the car. So it is with family counseling: the therapist is trained to see the family as a unit and diagnosing what is not working optimally. The therapist then works with the family to make needed “repairs” so that the whole family runs optimally!
If you think of an old fashioned watch – the kind with gears that are connected to other gears – you can understand that changing the tension or speed in just one gear affects every other gear and, subsequently, the whole timing of the watch! So, every bit of “fine tuning” a therapist can assist one member to do will affect positively every other member of your family.
Let our trained family therapists assist you in improving your family’s skills and getting your family running smoothly!