Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.
Why Did I have Children?
Sometimes you wish you hadn’t had kids at all. You love them, but parenting has caused so much stress on your marriage! You and your partner agree on some things, but not on others.
You end up sending confusing messages to your kids. Then it bites you in the you-know-what because the kids are acting out more and more. Sometimes it seems easier to bend instead of enforcing the rules. But you know that’s not healthy.
It’s just one big vicious and negative cycle of arguing, acting out, punishing, rule-setting….misery.
Where to Begin?
There are occasions when you all get along, and you wonder why you can’t just freeze this moment and be this way forever. Those times are the gold that we can mine for clues.
Families (or any group of human beings living together) are inherently challenging. When we have golden moments to explore, we can find aspects and behaviors to enhance and help nurture your family to health.
What Is the Process?
When I do family therapy, I meet with the parents first to get their ideas about the family dynamics and what they see as the most pressing problems.
I also assess for strengths that we can build on! I might do a lot of parent coaching initially for one or more sessions. Then I invite the whole family to come to my office.
Generally, I use activity therapy or family play therapy when the kids are present. We can talk about things, too, but I find (and the literature supports) that play and activity therapy with families can help ease tensions, introduce a playful tone to working with problems, and increase a sense of cohesion in the family.
Activities are also a good buffer for exploring topics that feel too raw to talk about directly. Through it all, we get to know each other as I focus on facilitating your family’s well-being.
If this sounds like your family, give me a call!
I have lots of experience working with families and personal experience raising two kids. We had our struggles and challenges, and I’m happy to say my children have grown into delightful adults!