many different issues at
different periods of the
life cycle. There are
times when talking
through your problems
with an experienced
family counselor can help.
Self Esteem, etc)
| Balancing Discipline and Love|
|Providing Structure and Maintaining Boundaries|
|School Related Issues (Grades Falling, Bullying,|
|Temper Tantrums for all Ages|
|Arguing, Fighting, etc.|
|Adolescent Attitude Issues|
If a person with a family problem went to an individually focused
mental health professional, the therapist would focus on that
individual. Depending upon which school of counseling the
counselor studied, s/he may look for pathology and symptoms in
an attempt to diagnose the person or possibly focus on the
reinforcers and punishers in a person's life that would serve to
maintain the symptomatic or dysfunctional behavior.
|What is Family Counseling?
Families experience many different issues at different periods
of the family life cycle. When a couple has a new baby, they
must realign themselves to take on the role of parents. This
could be a very confusing and exhausting time for them.
During the elementary school years, parents continue to be
involved and focused on their children, driving children to
dance, soccer etc.,
During the adolescent years, parents are still focused on their
children and whole host of other issues may arise. The risk
during this time period is that the couplemay lose the couple
part of their relationship. The necessity of taking care of the
children could create a situation where the couple in the
marriage is neglected. When this occurs, certain family issues
Our family counseling approach is to assist in the improvement
of the quality of family life through nurturing, supportive therapy.
Single parent household issues, step- families, children,
adolescent problems, adults experiencing a divorce, school
related problems are but a few of the family related problems
treated at MFT NY.
Does the entire family go for family counseling each
This depends on the family situation and the counselor. For
example, some family counselors see only the entire family.
They do this every week. Other family counselors may want
to see the couple one week, then all the children the next
week, then the couple again the following week. They might
want to see all the females in the family one week and all the
males the following week. Depending on how the family
counselor has assessed the family situation, the counselor
may want to see different sub-systems within the family or the
entire family each week.
Family Counseling looks at the family as a whole --not on the
individual elements of the whole. Family Counselors are trained
to observe the interactional patterns of the family.
Family Counselors look at the structure of the family. They
examine how the family is organized.
|This is not Family Counseling
"It felt like our family was falling apart. I was fighting all the
time with my husband; the children's grades were falling and
they were very disrespectful to us. At MFT NY we learned
how to recognize and fix our dysfunctional patterns and have
been getting along much better since." Debra A.
Family Counselors will
look at the boundaries
in a family. Boundaries
are artificial lines that
indicate limits in a
Family Counselors also look at communication patterns and
stability and change. How stable is the family in terms of life
cycle transitions? How do they handle change?
As you can see, there are big differences between going to
a counselor trained in the individual view and a family
What are the roles of the family? Roles are functions
performed by someone in a familiar situation. Roles are
expressed through interaction with other family members.
Similar to rules, roles can healthy or unhealthy. They can
facilitate family functioning or hinder it.
Family Counselors will look at the rituals in the family. These
are the customs that help to establish a family identity and
continue the family customs.
What is the hierarchy of a family? This is an important focus
of the family counselor. Hierarchies are the ordered
subsystems within a family. These are defined by tasks and
functions. For example, parents usually are at the top of the
hierarchy and hold most of the responsibility for family
members' well bein
Family Counselors ask, what
are the rules in the family?
Rules are the stated and
unstated guidelines for the
way a family will function.
These become established
|Marriage and Family
Therapy of New York
542 Lakeview Avenue, Rockville Centre, NY 11570 19 West 34th Street, New York, NY 70 Glen Cove Rd Roslyn Heights NY 11577
© 2007 Family Counseling Site By: Joan D. Atwood