Family Counseling

Are You Looking To Increase Harmony And Happiness Within Your Family?

Are you worried about your child or children, especially if they are isolating, acting out or struggling with academic and/or social issues? Is communication among family members strained, tense or even aggressive? Perhaps your children have become disrespectful to you, your partner and each other. Or maybe you’re struggling with co-parenting following a separation or trying to navigate the challenges that come with blending families. It might be that you see painful patterns from your own childhood emerging and you want to do what you can to heal your whole family. Do you want to develop a family system that is built around love, respect and understanding so that your family can function with ease and flow?

You Are Not Alone

If your children or family as a whole is struggling, you are not alone. There are so many pressures on families today, especially in the Bay Area where the cost of living is so high. Even families with ample means are facing difficulties, too. Demands on life are extreme right now, and it’s a very challenging time to be raising kids. On top of cultural pressures to perform and succeed, there are underlying fears about the state of our communities, country and the planet. Polarization is tearing families apart, and many children (and adults, too) are feeling overwhelmed, unsure where they fit in and in pain and distress. Add to that the media coverage of school shootings and other forms of extreme violence, and it’s no wonder that so many of us feel unsafe right now.

Even under ideal circumstances, raising and nurturing a family is riddled with challenges. Every family is different and faces unique issues, struggles and pain points. Rather than cultivate relationships that are open and receptive, many families find themselves struggling to communicate kindly and clearly, misunderstanding each other and/or naming one member of the family as the “problem.” In truth, though, families are systems and every member has his or her interpretation of what’s unfolding within the unit. So often, when communication breaks down, so does the family. The good news, however, is that it is possible to identify your strengths and the opportunities for growth and healing in your family. As a skilled and compassionate family therapist, I can help you and your family cultivate understanding for each other, develop loving kindness and create harmony within your home.

Family Counseling Provides You With Support, Skills And A Space For Connecting

Family therapy can be extremely effective and provide you and your family with a neutral space in which each member can express his or herself and feel valued and heard. Often, just having a designated time of focused attention to see and really hear each other leads to profound growth and healing for individual members of a family and the family system as a whole.

In family counseling sessions, there is an equal honoring of each member of your family. My office is a space to slow everything down and respectfully hear everyone’s story, vision of the family and unique experience within it. Everyone has a chance to express their thoughts, feelings and their understanding of the problems within the family, as well as the opportunity to reflect on how he or she may be contributing to the distress. My role is to help everyone understand their personal agency and their value within the family.

Every family is different, which is why I’ll collaborate with you to create a family therapy strategy designed specifically for the needs and goals of your family. We can be in the moment to see what arises in sessions, as well as work through, process and resolve ongoing, specific issues that are impacting your family. Once we identify the pain points, I can offer you practical strategies to improve communication as you work toward developing a deeper and more thoughtful understanding of and increased compassion for each other.

Although the dynamics within your family might feel overwhelming right now, it is possible to begin a new conversation, clear through resentments and establish a more supportive way of connecting with each other. Conflicts are inevitable in families, but with help, support and new skills, you can learn how to create effective resolutions in ways that are thoughtful. Through family counseling, you can increase your understanding and respect for each other, letting go of assumptions and deeply valuing everyone’s unique experience.

You still might wonder if family counseling is right for you…

I’m worried that I might be judged or discover that I really am a bad parent.

Parenting is hard. Everyone makes mistakes and does things that they regret. We are all human, and part of the family therapy process is to address just that. Therapy is not about judging or placing blame; rather, it’s a process of growing, healing and developing a harmonious family system in which everyone feels loved, valued, seen and heard.

One member of our family is refusing to attend sessions. Can family therapy still work?

Absolutely. Bring in the family members who are willing and we can start there. In sessions, we can discuss better ways of talking with and relating to each other, which can have a ripple effect on the entire family system. Over time, the member of your family who is reluctant now may see/feel the change in your family and become more open to the idea of family therapy.

How long does counseling for families generally take?

Every family is different, and the length of time spent in therapy really depends on your family’s needs and goals. That said, so often just sitting down together in a neutral environment with the dedicated time to really listen to each other creates a notable shift in a short time. Essentially, however, it’s my role to help you gain the insight and skills needed to create harmony in your home without my assistance, and the length of time spent in therapy is ultimately up to you.

Create The Harmonious Family You Want

If you’re in the Bay Area seeking family counseling and a neutral space to engage in the process of improving communication and connection within your family, I invite you to call me at my Oakland, CA office at 510- 423-3577 to schedule a free, full, in-person session. A face-to-face session will help us get a feel for one another. We can discuss you family, what you are looking for and how we might best work together. I’m also happy to answer any questions you have about family therapy and my practice.