Family Therapy

Your family needs therapy if …

  • Any members of the family have difficulty getting along.
  • Any person in the family feels disrespected and not listened to.
  • If grounding and punishments of children have ceased to work (or never did!).
  • If any person in the family feels picked on or left out.
  • If anyone in the family isolates from the others.
  • If the family isn’t communicating.
  • If alliances have formed against other family members.
  • If parents are too lenient or too rigid, or don’t know what I mean by that.
  • If parents are overprotective.
  • If parents aren’t encouraging independence for their children.
  • If grown parents are still controlling or manipulating their grown adult children.
Therapy for the Family – Here’s the equation:

YOUR family in a relaxing atmosphere + a caring and compassionate therapist = understanding, empathy, change, growth & healing.

My mother's family would no doubt have benefited from family therapy.

My mother’s family would no doubt have benefited from family therapy.

Why Family Therapy?

Because it’s not what you think … and it works.

Family therapy is one of the most amazing experiences I have had the opportunity to take part in. I usually see families full of good intentions who somehow have tilted out of balance. The “out of balance” part shows up in how the relationships stop working … you know, there is plenty of disrespect, anger, sadness, frustration, confrontations, shutting down … and most likely family members feel they’ve gotten themselves in a rut and they can’t get out.

Working with families, we will see a lot of blame. Family members may point the finger at one person or another, but typically each person unwittingly plays a role in keeping the family system stuck. It’s my job to listen to each person and figure out what’s going on. Then I help the family gain insight into the patterns of behavior that are bringing them down. Imagine doing this with no blaming, judgment, criticism, attacks or finger pointing – I’m much more interested in understanding how your family works using curiosity, compassion and insight.

What I love about family therapy is how quickly change can occur. What is interesting is that I am keenly aware that most family members would rather be anywhere else than in a family therapist’s office, and if you come to my office don’t be surprised if I point that out. Of course I know that root canals sometimes sound more appealing than going to a family therapy session.

I see all sorts of families — single parents; traditional families with mom, dad, and children; older parents and their grown children – whatever configuration of a family you can imagine, and it usually ends up that one person wants to be there more than the other(s). The ones who don’t want to be there probably have no faith or trust in the family therapy process whatsoever, they think: “How can talking to someone help?” Teens sick of not being heard have concluded the situation is hopeless and do not want to take part in one more exercise of being told what they do wrong and how they fail to meet expectations. Adults fearing attacks and blame arrive with skepticism and walls erected. BUT, what gives me more pleasure than anything is to show each person that their preconceived ideas about what was going to take place are usually not accurate. Think about it … how could we possibly grow and change if we continued doing things the same way they’ve always been done? In my office each person will find that judgment is suspended and compassionate listening and understanding is the way that it is. I am interested in what everyone has to say and every person’s perspective is equally important.

What happens in this type of listening and understanding environment is that walls come down and caring and compassion enter the room. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a family start enjoying one another once again. Imagine seeing a teen or other family member who had been operating in the “shut off” position actually looking forward to the next time we all meet. Why? Because each person gets listened to and respected, not just by me but by the entire family.

If your family is struggling with communication and understanding issues, then you would probably benefit from family therapy. Imagine the stress and walls being removed from your home atmosphere and being replaced by respect, love, and caring – There’s nothing like it! If you have questions regarding the process, please email me at and I’ll be happy to visit with you about it. Change IS easier than you think!