Do you need help resolving issues within your family?
Are you preparing for a major life transition, such as divorce or remarriage?
Do you want to address your role in your family and understand how this role impacts you as an individual? Family Therapy at our San Diego location can help you.
Family counseling usually involves all parents, siblings and extended family members into the treatment process. We focus on patterns of communication, parenting styles, personalities and other influences.
Child development is mainly influenced by the environment in which he or she grew up. Family plays an important role in our emotional, physical and spiritual development since each individual in the family system impacts and is impacted by the others.
Depending on the unique needs and goals of the family, different combinations of family members may participate in each therapy session.
Anyone seeking healthier, closer family relationships can benefit from family therapy at our San Diego location.
Family counseling is used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- marital problems,
- parent-child conflicts,
- sibling conflicts, and
- life-threatening illness within the family.
Family counseling is particularly helpful for adults and adolescents struggling with substance abuse, eating disorders, and other emotional and behavioral issues.
Child development related issues begin as early as the toddler stage. When treating young children in the family counseling sessions, we focus on the most common issues with misbehavior.
Young children tend to act out in order to gain attention and power. Each child, even through adolescence, they must receive enough positive attention and positive power everyday.
As parents, you most likely feed into the negative behaviors because your children receive the attention they want. Children only continue behaviors that work for them.
Are you also having problems with your teenager?
When discussing issues with the adolescent stage, it usually applies to anyone between ages 13 and 19. This is considered the transitional stage from childhood to adulthood. However, the physical and psychological changes that occur in adolescence can start earlier, during the preteen years, usually ages 9 through 12.
Adolescence can be a time of both disorientation and discovery. The transitional period is focused on being independent and one’s self-identity. Peers hold heavy influences on romantic relationships. External appearance tends to become more important as the adolescent enters into adulthood.
The adolescent issues that are seen as significantly impacted include depression leading to self-harm, eating disorders, lack of self-esteem, excessive anxiety, bullying, pressures to have sex, and engaging in substance use.
Anyone who has problems that interferes with his or her life and the lives of family members will benefit from family counseling.
The better the family functions, the lower the stress level for everyone in the family.
By using this approach, it can alleviate issues related to spousal conflicts, childhood misbehavior, adolescent peer pressure, substance use, and mental illness within the family system.
Many families seek out therapy when anticipating a major transition, such as combining children from previous marriages to learn how to live under the same household. Family therapy is useful in dealing with relationship problems within the family and may help reduce mental or emotional symptoms for struggling family members.
When focusing on child development related issues, adolescence appears to be the most difficult stage to support with in the family system due to the complexity. Adolescents often self-cut to deal with their emotional pain because they do not know how to appropriately cope or reach out for support.
Many adolescents engage in self-cutting in public situations as a means of getting attention. Several adolescents say that they discovered this coping skill because of peer influence, but once they found that it worked for them, they continued cutting. Self-cutting is viewed as extremely addictive, so the majority of self-cutters continue the behavior throughout adolescence and even into adulthood, depending on how much time passes until intervention.
Another prevalent issue with adolescents is the culture of self-image pressed from their peers, the media, and overall society. Due to self-image extremes, eating disorders have become a huge issue with the adolescent population.
Eating disorders typically develop during adolescence or early adulthood. However, they can start in childhood as well. Females are much more vulnerable. Eating disorders for our youth is heavily influenced by cultural images that favor bodies too underweight. Many children and teens with eating disorders struggle with fear of being overweight, feelings of helplessness, and low self-esteem.
To cope with these issues, children and teens latch onto harmful eating habits. The last issue that will also be addressed during family counseling is the impact of bullying that might be causing your child to become depressed.
Depressed children and adolescents who are involved in bullying benefit from evidence-based, individualized interventions that address their unique needs. Bullying interventions that will be used in my office provides you and your children with effective strategies to cope with the bullying itself as well as manage internalizing symptoms.
Research findings have indicated that both victims and bullies are at high risk for suicide, therefore we must address it immediately.
How Family Therapy Can Help
For parents, I will teach you what works and what does not work when disciplining your child or adolescent.Time-outs, counting, and punishments that involve blame, shame, or pain does not work because they do not learn anything.
After working with me, you will:
- Learn how to motivate your children to make better choices with discipline strategies that teach and train positive behaviors. Keep in mind that the personalities of each parent affect their child’s behaviors and misbehavior is never just the child’s problem.
- Understand the rules of setting effective consequences for children between age two and late teens. Your children will learn how to take personal responsibility for their actions.
- Gain insight to how not get stuck in power struggles with your children as well as how to handle more specific behaviors, such as toilet training, wake up morning times, getting ready for bed, and completing chores.
Specifically for adolescent related issues, my approach will be dependent upon the personality of the teenager and the presenting problem.
When treating depression in both bullies and victims, Cognitive Behavioral therapy will be utilized.
I would also provide referrals for bullying intervention programs and victim support groups. Approximately 3-4 sessions will include assessment, psychoeducation, and feedback.
When treating eating disorders, longer-term treatment is needed to complete behavioral therapy, behavioral modification, nutritional counseling, and recommended support groups.
For the entire family, we will cover how your family has functioned in the past and how your role can improve present functioning. Family counseling focuses less particular members and more on the family as a whole.We identify the conflicts and develop strategies for resolution. The bond between family members will be strengthened to work on your problems together. We focus on the strengths in your family to best handle present and future problems.
Evaluating issues in family counseling can help each member:
- understand how their family functions,
- identify strengths and weaknesses within the family,
- set goals and develop strategies to resolve challenges,
- improve communication skills, and
- make the entire family stronger.
Family counseling usually is used as a type of co-treatment with other types of mental health treatment.
When one or more family members require specialized treatment for addictions, eating disorders, or other illnesses, then family counseling can encourage the struggling family member to pursue individual counseling.
The number of sessions required will be dependent upon the severity of the problems and the participation of each member. Mutual goals will be collaboratively set up with your entire family.
At that time, we will discuss the approximate length for treatment in order to achieve your goals. Additionally, not every member of the family attends every session.
Book your appointment today to receive family counseling to help you and your family cope with the challenging issues you face.