A: “MS” represents my Masters Level degree is Psychological Counseling; ”EdS’ stands for an ”Educational Specialist” which is post-Masters degree in Family Therapy; “LMFT” means I have completed passed all the necessary coursework, practicums and exams to be considered a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Typically LMFT’s are trained to work in private practice, hospitals or agencies treating couples and families.
A: I was trained in an agency for over 9 years, treating couples and families from many different backgrounds with an array of presenting problems. I have a very non-judgmental, non-blaming approach to relationships which makes the couple feel free to open up. I completely understand that no matter what the presenting situation looks like, there is a lot of history that led up to this point and it ‘takes two to tango’ – meaning, the couple got to this place together and we need to work through it and restore the closeness and the connection that they once had as a team. Terminating clients have said that what they valued most out of the therapy was truly feeling that I cared so much about each of the partners individually, as well as appreciating the relationship as a whole.
Q: I’m worried about my child who is seemingly going through a really hard time socially. I’m wondering if therapy and/or social skills trainings could really help him or if he will just naturally outgrow this.
A: Very often children do mature and naturally grow beyond their challenges without ever being seen by a therapist. However, if you are a parent that is spending time and energy worrying about your child on any level, then therapy might be useful to you. It is often a daunting task to figure out all the answers yourself. Probably what you are nervous about is more common than you think and has been seen before by professionals. Often therapy is a short-term process, unless we face more complicated underlying issues. In that case, you will be even more grateful to have the guidance and expertise of a trained professional.
A: In order to get a complete and accurate picture of what is going on with your child in school and at home, and how your child is performing, it is essential to meet with the parent(s). I try to gather as much information as possible so that I can get a sense of what your child is going through, and then move to devising a treatment plan.
A: As a parent myself, I completely understand the fear of committing to yet, another responsibility. The therapy framework that is provided includes working as quickly and effectively with the parents (and the other adults who are affecting your child) so that we can begin to manipulate situations and start creating successes for your child as soon as possible. Once we begin to see success, we can begin to see each other less often, change to a maintenance plan (which may include either group therapy for parents in a similar situation as you) or bi-weekly or monthly “check-in” sessions.
A: You are totally correct in protecting your child from this stigma. Interestingly, some children just love the attention of coming into the office, while others don’t. It is believed that much of the therapy at times, is the car ride to and from the sessions, which creates a true bonding experience between parent and child. However, this is not for everyone and we will look at the different variables and come up with the best plan that works for your child.
A: It’s very common for one parent to feel uncomfortable about their child going into therapy. Again, as with many things in life, the concept of therapy and how one deals with problems, has a lot to do with how one was brought up. I’m happy to talk with your spouse about his or her concerns. If it is still uncomfortable, you may want to come in alone and we can chat about your situation. While it’s my preference to see both parents, I understand that sometimes this isn’t possible.
Note: Exploring what is uncomfortable and getting both parents to see eye to eye, might actually be an inherent part of the treatment itself. So keep this in mind when reviewing this with your resistant spouse. I can try to offer you some suggestions on how to deal with your spouse if you choose to meet.
A: Don’t underestimate how your stressful relationship with your spouse might actually be affecting your child. It is possible that this has all to do with the challenges your child is facing. This understanding, that your marital tension can really be affecting all your children (whether or not they are even symptomatic) will be thoroughly reviewed in session.
A: There’s really no right answer to that. Although I am generally geared to short-term therapy, each child and family situation is unique so it is impossible to determine. After we meet, we will both have a better sense of timing.