Question: I know things aren’t working for my family, but I don’t know if family parenting therapy would be able to help us.
Answer: Not all family issues can be helped in parenting therapy, but many can. Often times, a fresh perspective, and a trained, compassionate therapist can make all the difference in the world. I have deep experience in the challenges of blended/step families, and cross cultural families. I can help you find structure and simplicity in meeting the family’s basic needs while your children develop and navigate the transitions of teen age, and emerging independence. My extensive training as a Marriage and Family Therapist helps me to bring you today’s best thinking from the masters in our profession on how to develop strong, resilient, and emotionally intelligent children while preserving your own adult relationships and growth path.
Question: Do you work with children as well as parents?
Answer: In my individual therapy practice I sometimes see children and teens ages 12-19, as well as my adult clients. Although I am trained in young child play therapy techniques, this is not my strongest suite. If we determine that your child younger than 12 needs therapy, I can recommend some excellent colleagues locally who can provide the help your child needs.
Having said that, there are times when a Family Session in which all members of the family are present may be helpful, depending on your specific situation, goals, and needs. But most commonly I work with the parent or parents to help the family heal and find the joy.
Question: I am really worried and sad, and I know we need help. But I am not sure I can get my partner to come in with me. Can I see you anyway?
Answer: Call me at (650) 275-2384. If your goal is to have both of you attend therapy, I will coach you in possible ways to have that conversation with your partner to increase the chances of bringing him or her in with you. It is really common for one partner to want to seek help, and the other to feel uncomfortable about it. Let’s talk; I’ll help you get the help you both need. However, if your schedules or inclinations permit only one of you to attend, we can still make some real progress towards that loving, respectful, joyful family I know is in your future.
Question: I am a single parent. You seem to be talking mostly to two-parent households. Can you help someone like me?
Answer: Absolutely! In my practice to date, about 50% of my clients seeking parenting support are currently in single parent households. Some are navigating the intricacies of having their children pass back and forth between 2 (or more!) households, some have significant others who are not currently members of the household but definitely in the picture, while others are truly parenting all on their own.
Question: How long will therapy take?
Answer: Each family is unique, but the approach I use is respectful of both your time and your financial resources. Much like going to the gym or your yoga class, new muscles, new flexibility takes some time and practice to make second nature and reliable. Some families spend only 3-4 sessions with me, others had regular weekly sessions for 4-5 months. There is not a one-size-fits–all approach, I tailor our work together to your specific needs and issues so we don’t waste your time and energy, and your family gets the focused help you need, now.
Question: Part of our problem is that we are really, really busy people and there doesn’t seem to be much time for working together as a family. How frequently would you need to see us?
Answer: Parenting work is effective when I see you once a week. Sessions are either 50 minutes or 90 minutes, and some ½ day Intensives may be available upon request.
Question: Can I bring my children to the sessions? It is really hard to find child care.
Answer: I deeply regret that I am unable to arrange for childcare at my locations. I have found that trying to conduct parent therapy with the children in the room has been far less effective. If this is the only way you would be able to get some help, please call me – I have a couple of referrals that provide childcare during therapy sessions.
Question: My partner and I are separating/divorcing. I am really having a hard time figuring out how we are going to parent going forward. Things have been pretty difficult, lately. Can you help us?
Answer: Congratulations for having the vision and foresight to think this through! Studies have demonstrated over and over again that the single most important protective factor in helping children weather the difficult times of a divorce is a calm, well thought out two-household parenting plan. A plan that respects each parent’s independence yet places the needs of the children first. I will help you to find that for your children, and for yourself. I can help with this even if your exiting partner is unable to attend.
Question: What is my next step?
Answer: Give me a call at (650) 275-2384, and let’s talk about what is going on. I want to hear your story. Let’s get started on making things better for you and your family. It’s time.