Couples & Family Therapy
Couples and family therapy helps family members improve communication, resolve conflicts, and provide support to one another. The purpose of the family or couple’s therapy is not to assign blame or decide who is wrong and who is right. We use a systems-based approach, meaning that people impact each other’s behaviors whether they are aware of it or not. For example, someone may cheat on their partner, and feel like it was “their mistake,” although when we look at the bigger picture, we may come to recognize unmet needs and relational strain that has been going on for a while. Similarly, a child can come to therapy with behavioral problems and concentration issues only for the therapist to discover that the parents are discussing divorce, and have had difficulties spending time with the child as a family. We will help you work together with the other(s) to understand how you affect each other and the family unit as a whole. What happens to one of you, happens to the other(s) as well, and it is important to explore the invisible patterns that people tend to follow in their relationships as a family or as a couple.
If you and your family (or partner) come in for the first time, we would start with exploring what each of you would like to change, and get to know all the different perspectives of the family members. We will explore experiences that shaped you as a person – culture, background childhood, parents, grandparents – and the interplay of these experiences with the life circumstances of your other family members. While the family/couple’s sessions can be emotionally charged, our goal is to help everyone feel safe throughout, and create space for love, patience, and understanding for each other.
During the session, we will help your family resolve a problem that directly affects one or more of you. Everyone has the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings about how they are impacted. Together, the family works to help the person who feels most distressed but also to relieve the strain on all family members. All of you will explore the roles and relationships within the family. Sometimes we may invite you to reverse roles to help promote understanding. The overall goal is to help all family members support each other, restore amicable relationships, and rebuild a healthy family system.