Parents and families are generally trying hard and doing the best they can to manage in life – often in light of very difficult circumstances, histories, and problems. Under enough stress, most parents and adolescents will slide into maladaptive patterns in the ways in which they relate to and behave with each other. Communication breaks down, emotional responses become too intense, and behavioral problems develop. Generally, everyone feels misunderstood and sometimes out of control. Adolescents struggle to express their needs, but can’t figure out how to do it in ways that parents can hear. Parents become scared and frustrated, and may feel helpless to make anything better.
In family therapy, I work with parents to help them make sense of their child’s behaviors and symptoms, figure out ways to address their child’s underlying needs, and develop behavior response plans that take into account the complexity of their individual child and the specific situation. I also work provide parent consultation when parents are in conflict with each other regarding how to respond to or help their child.
I work with children and parents together to improve communication and develop ways to feel better connected with each other.