Psychotherapy with Families

Does your family sometimes bewilder you? Every family grows and changes over time. Attitudes and feelings take new shapes as years go by and loving dependence mixes with the need for growth and independence. As you move and change together in a family, you are not always consciously aware of what is happening, what has shifted. I call this shifting the “Family Trance.”

When families come to therapy, usually every family member feels a bit anxious about what might happen. This anxiety is actually a good thing, because it is a sign that there is an openness and energy for change within the family.

In the first session and throughout the treatment, I create an environment in which everyone feels safe, comfortable, and listened-to. I manage the communication so that deeper truths about what each person feels and needs can be safely communicated. I believe that truth spoken with respect and listened to with respect leads to deeper understanding and healing. In working with shifting, painful ways of communicating that have become entrenched habits, I have learned how to be flexible. I sometimes use humor and playfulness as well as gentle hypnotic approaches to shift a difficult interaction onto a constructive path. I can also sometimes be respectfully and compassionately direct and even blunt when needed.

Every family develops its own repetitive behaviors, often involving attitudes inherited from previous generations. Over time these patterns can become so ingrained that they trap you into replaying painful situations again and again. My role in Family Therapy is to become aware of and track these automatic movements and help you tap into your unique abilities as a family to break out of the unrecognized painful moments that keep everyone feeling defensive and helpless.

Going through this together and dissolving the obvious and the hidden conflicts, a family discovers the deeper connections they have and healing can occur — and loving moments can emerge.

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