The benefits of family counseling include being able to discuss the issues with all family members present who are involved in the current conflict and allowing for immediate validation of the situation by a neutral third party. I view my client in this situation as the relationship between all the family members and not any one individual in the family. With this view I can facilitate each family member being able to better communicate about the issue from his/her point of view to the other family members by demonstrating skills and giving you homework to complete outside of session. Everyone, no matter their age, will get a chance to speak if they choose to. The true test of the process is what you do outside of session with the skills you learn inside of session.
While I usually do 50-55 minute sessions, if there are large families (4 or more), I may ask that we schedule 2 hours for our first session and possibly any future sessions so that everyone has a chance to speak before the time is up. I will allow all of you to explore your current issues in a controlled environment. I may do an individual session with a family member as needed throughout the process as well. I do not keep secrets when I am working with a family. Any information derived during the individual sessions is also open for discussion during the family sessions. If a secret does come out that the family is unaware of, I will stop counseling and work with the individual with the secret to be able to tell his/her family members what is happening.
I ask my clients to only keep their cell phones on during session if they have children home alone. You are worth the effort to take some time out of your day to devote to YOU as a family without distractions.
We will most likely begin focusing on how you all define the issue that brought you to counseling and steps you have taken so far on solving those issues. I will also want to learn about the family of origin of the parents, as those experiences have a profound effect on how we act, work, play and think as adults. We can then define where you are as a family at the moment with regards to that issue and also take a look into the future. What does your future look like with this issue resolved? It is difficult to work on a problem if you are unable to imagine your future in the way you want it to be.
While there is no set number of sessions suggested for family counseling, as differing issues and differing personalities make it difficult to predict such a thing, I do ask that my clients commit to at least 5 sessions if possible to be able to begin to see some change. I will also let you know that as we open up and become more familiar with the problems that brought you all to counseling; you may feel as if you are periodically moving backward instead of forward. This is simply because we are discussing topics that you were not comfortable in verbalizing in the past. This is normal. Have faith in yourself and this process and you can get through those apparent moments of frustration.
There is no right or wrong answer in our sessions. I want you all to feel comfortable in saying what is on your mind and to feel confident in disagreeing with me at any time. We do need to be respectful when someone else is speaking and allow them your full attention, as you would expect when you are speaking. You all know yourself better than anyone else and in order for me to get to know each of you, I need you to be honest with what is working and what is not.
Each 50-55 minute session has a fee of $140. See my Services & Rates page for discounted session offers.
Call me when you are ready to be active in creating the life you long to have. 817-876-9958
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