Does It Feel Like Your Family Is Falling Apart?
Is your family struggling with increased conflict, a lack of communication and/or a decreasing sense of closeness? Are you dealing with a specific issue, such as divorce, a new baby, an illness or a recently blended family, that is affecting everyone on some level, but in different ways? Perhaps there is ongoing conflict between you and your partner and/or co-parent or between two or more of your children and the fighting and tension is causing upset for everyone in your family. Or maybe there is one child in your home that is acting out, making your household feel chaotic, erratic and stressed. It might be that trauma, an addiction, domestic violence or a significant loss has one or many of your family members feeling rattled, disconnected, angry or deeply sad. You might feel helpless to affect change in your family situation, unsure of what to do to help certain family members or how to restore harmony to your home. Do you wish you could create a loving and highly functioning family in which everyone felt included, valued, heard and understood?
Family Issues Are Ubiquitous In Today’s World
If your family is struggling with one or more issues, you are far from alone. We live in an ever-changing world, and almost all families bump up against challenges that create conflict, strain relationships and lead to communication breakdowns. As individuals, we all have varying thoughts, feelings, needs, wants and behaviors that affect the people around us. And, much like the individuals within it, families are also dynamic and ever changing. With so much happening within a family and within each member of a family, it is par for the course that disagreements and conflict will occur. As individuals within the family, we end up both consciously and unconsciously stepping on each other, struggling with boundaries and neglecting other members’ needs. Add to that the stress that comes from daily responsibilities and challenging life transitions, such as job stress, issues at school, social responsibilities, divorce, illness, single parenting, parents’ aging and blending families, to name just a few, and it’s understandable that conflicts arise.
We also live in an increasingly technology and media dependent society that is causing many families to feel even more fragmented and disconnected. From comparing ourselves to illusions of perfect families online and trying to stay connected with our loved ones when texting becomes the norm for communication, many families are more than a little lost. It’s difficult enough to keep ourselves balanced in this online and social media world, much more heard and understood in the midst of all of the streaming news and noise that bombards our senses and impacts members of our families. You might wonder how to get your family to realize that going back to the basics—slowing down and spending time together—will in and of itself rebuild some of the disconnection in the family.
The good news is that while families and relationships are often challenging to navigate, the investment put into rebuilding can lead to long lasting rewards for years to come. A skilled, understanding and pragmatic family therapist can help you and your family develop the insight and skills needed to foster effective communication, closeness, connection and clarity between family members.
Family Counseling Can Provide You With Guidance, Support, Insight And A New Path Forward
Family therapy can be extremely effective. Not only can it help you identify and better understand the major themes and issues that are causing discord, but it can also help to clarify the reactions, sensitivities and needs of all family members. In the safe, warm and inviting space of my office, I can help you and your family learn how to defuse emotional reactivity and operate from a more stable, thoughtful and responsive place. Through thoughtfully accessing individual needs and the strengths that already exist within your family, it becomes possible to increase empathy and feelings of closeness between family members.
During family counseling, I get to know each family member and determine what types of behaviors are triggering the disharmony or tensions that lead to more serious conflict. I will help each family member see what behaviors are contributing to a long-standing issue or fight that has been left unresolved. Working collaboratively from the inside-out, we’ll get to the root of all the thoughts, feelings and beliefs at play and develop strategies to help individuals within the family shift into more positive roles. I can help both the adults, children and teenagers in your family understand the importance and responsibility of owning their behaviors and getting in touch with their different thoughts and feelings. This empowering, awareness-based work can not only help to resolve the individual issues that may be contributing to family disharmony, but also strengthen relationships and improve the overall sense of closeness within your family.
I know both personally and professionally how different each family is, which is why I’ll tailor-create a family therapy plan that best addresses and supports your unique family’s values, needs and therapy goals. Together, we’ll develop tools and strategies that work specifically for your family. As I become more attuned with your family, I can point out patterns that you may not be aware of, help you develop a better sense of all the moving parts and offer thoughtful, often simple parenting tips that you can implement immediately to improve communication and connection. I’ll take the time to build a trusting relationship with your whole family and create a safe space in which all members, are empowered to use their voices. In the safe space of my office, everyone is welcome and sustainable healing, growth and discovery is possible.
Regardless of what your family is going through, there is always hope and a space for healing. It is possible for everyone to feel happy, connected, empowered and understood. With the guidance and support of an experienced marriage and family therapist, ineffective patterns and dynamics can shift when there is willingness from the family to engage and trust the therapist. Family members can feel supported by each other. You can all build empathy, compassion and hope. Essentially, your family can become a safe haven for its members where everyone feels like they belong.
You still may have questions or concerns about family counseling…
It’s mainly one family member that is really struggling. Do we really need family therapy?
One family member’s wellbeing and behavior may impact and affect everyone else in a family, especially if the behavior is repetitive. While individual counseling can be a great option for anyone who’s really struggling, in family counseling sessions, everyone has a voice. Together, we can identify the primary issues and concerns, explore everyone’s reactions and responses and address the ripple effect that each person can contribute to the family dynamics. We can explore ways of promoting a sense of empathy while encouraging each individual to be accountable for his or her own actions, which can lead to both increased interpersonal and family harmony.
We have such busy and varying schedules. It’ll be nearly impossible to get us all in one room at the same time.
I certainly understand how challenging it can be to get everyone in the office at the same time, which is why I offer Saturday appointments to accommodate busy families like yours. And, while it’s great to have the whole family in sessions, there is a lot of work that can be done when only a couple or few members are present. We can schedule weekday meetings with certain family members depending on the issues at hand. Essentially, the health and happiness of your family matters, and I’m committed to helping you find a way to fit therapy into your busy schedules.
How long does family counseling generally take?
The length of time spent in family counseling and/or how often we meet really depends your family’s unique needs and specific family goals. My goal with all families, however, is to provide you with the insight, skills and tools needed to empower yourselves to transform from the inside-out. As we work together, you can come to understand yourselves and your family dynamic so well that you no longer need my guidance and support. Once you build bridges and create stability, we can move from regular sessions to periodic check-ins that can be used to addresses challenges when they come up.
Foster A Peaceful, Loving And Well Functioning Family
If you’re struggling with family issues in South LA county or North and South Orange County, I invite you to call my office line at 949-342-4585 for a complimentary 15-minute consultation. I’m happy to discuss your specific family problems, answer any questions you have about family counseling, couples counseling, individual therapy and my practice and decide how we could best work together to support your needs and goals.