Relationship problems can be a challenge for many of us whether they involve a couple or a family. Many times efforts to “work things out” will occur with the best of intentions only to fail as previous attempts have failed. One of the sayings we have heard is that “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing we have always done and expecting a different result.
Without professional help we will do the same thing we have done. Therapy is about education, intervention and change by an unbiased and trained clinician. In doing therapy it is my job to point out patterns, and to help both people to make changes to avoid those patterns. (See couples therapy article, reachable from the Articles page).
Often I don’t care whose fault something is (often both or all have a part) or getting agreement on what happened (otherwise we argued about what occurred and solve nothing). I want to solve future problems that are similar. In that way we make needed changes and make therapy a success.
A couples or family therapist is someone on the outside that has a rare opportunity. He or she is not embroiled in the conflict and therefore has a more unbiased and objective view. He or she also needs to intervene to stop destructive or patterns doomed to fail, and to confront issues or activities if they do occur.
Couples, marital or family therapy is a lot of work for a therapist but the outcomes are worth the work. Scheduling and showing up for treatment is the first step, the rest is a team effort. We wish you the best in your endeavor, whether it be here or elsewhere
Depression and anxiety are some of the most common reasons our clients enter treatment. Sometimes the feelings are in response to reasons the person can identify, sometimes not. In either case we assess each client’s needs and together work towards solving the difficulties and alleviating or eliminating the depression or anxiety. If there is a history of trauma, we may need to gently go back to move forward.
We intervene with clients in an educative and interactive process, providing direction and feedback in addition to listening. We utilize cognitive-behavioral, gestalt and other models and techniques based on the client’s needs. We suggest and provide strategies to address the feelings. In some cases (such as OCD, trauma and Panic Attacks or other severe anxiety) Hypnosis may be raised as a possibility. If the feelings are especially debilitating (for example OCD or severe depression) we may recommend referral to a psychiatrist for an evaluation.