Families experience 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
"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.
Families experience many different issues at different periods of the family life cycle. When a couple has a new baby, they must realign the mselves 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 may arise.
Our family counseling approach is to assist in the improvement of the quality of family life through nurturing, supportive therapy
Common issues are:
Balancing Discipline and Love
Providing Structure and Maintaining Boundaries
School Related Issues (Grades Falling, Bullying, Self Esteem, etc)
Temper Tantrums for all Ages
Arguing, Fighting, etc.
Adolescent Attitude Issues
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 week?
This depends on the family situation and the counselor. Forexample, 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.
What is Family Counseling?
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.
This is not Family Counseling
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.
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 through repetition.
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 will look at the boundaries in a family. Boundaries are artificial lines that indicate
limits in a family.
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 counselor.
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