With a background in both systems therapy and family mediation, I am in a unique position to help families in distress. Below are just some of the issues I've helped families overcome. If you want more information or have a question about something not specifically mentioned here, just get in touch.
As children grow, so do the challenges that come with raising them. Sometimes, families reach a point where things just aren't working anymore. There's more yelling and tension at home than love and respect. If your family is starting to sounds like what I just described, you don't have to continue down that road. I work with the whole family, together and individually as needed, to everyone get back on track. You can have a happier home and a happier family.
It can be hard to admit that family boundaries aren't right. These situations might include when a child begins acting as a parent, when a parent is too involved in a child's life, or when a child has been recruited as an "emotional spouse" for a parent. Broken or distorted boundaries invariably lead to problems whether in the short term or the long term. If you're beginning to see these problems, I can help your family face these issues. By working together, all family members can return to their appropriate roles, empowering the adults to be the parents again and freeing the children to simply be "the kids".
Marriage, by its nature, requires a lot of learning and adjustment. When step-children are part of the mix, it can get complicated fast. Conflicting hopes and expectations about the role and responsibilities of a step-parent (by both the adults and children) can lead to feelings of frustration, jealousy, and resentment. The dream of a close, loving family can quickly dissolve leaving adults and children distant, lonely, and unhappy.
Whether you are considering the commitment to join a blended family or are already part of one, those and other issues need to be addressed. Working with me to address these issues and develop strengths will be one of the best and longest-lasting investments you can make in your new family.
Parents don't always know how to be the parent of a young adult. Young adults don't always know how to handle parents who want to keep being "parents." When a spouse or grandchildren enter the picture, that parent-grown child relationship can be complicated further. Don't leave these issues unresolved where they invite resentment, anger, and family disconnect. When your extended family sits down with me in therapy, we're able to work together towards the common goal of a healthy family life that is fulfilling for parents, grandparents, and the children.
Parenting Your Parents
One of the most difficult transitions for families to make is when parents can no longer care for themselves. When physical or mental health begins failing, it often falls to the grown children to begin making decisions on the parents' behalf, starting with the decision of whether the time to intervene has come. Health issues, medical treatment, finances, and other life areas where decisions must be made open the door to arguments, hurt feelings, discouragement, and emotional distance. As your parents enter this stage of life, I can help your family face these emotionally charged areas. Together, we are able to establish and maintain the delicate balance of preserving your parents' dignity, respecting their remaining independence, and ensuring their care and safety.