Family Therapy

What is a family?  Today’s family is fluid and flexible.  Members of families are marital partners, mothers, fathers, parents, children, grandchildren, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, step parents, step siblings, half siblings, adoptive, foster, etc..  Throughout the life cycle, new members join families and, sadly, leave them as well.

Working with families entails understanding that within large family systems are individuals and also subsystems, like the ones I just mentioned.  When I am asked to work with families, I often need to work with individuals for a period of time.  Sometimes I ask to meet with specific subsystems from the 

family (for example just the parents, or just the siblings), and other times every seat in my office is filled when family members, young and old, are seen together.  

 

Families go through normal developmental stages, which are often jolting and difficult to manage.  Examples of this would be getting married, having a baby, parenting adolescents, having children leave the nest, and aging.  I often help individuals, couples, and families in navigating these challenges.  Just because something is “normal” doesn’t make it easy to go through.

 

I also meet with families who are dealing with the unexpected.  When I work with families, my orientation is rooted in my eight year family therapy training with Harry Aponte, ACSW, a world renowned structural family therapist.  I also draw heavily from other therapeutic modalities as well, from cognitive behavioral therapy, Bowenian family therapy, narrative therapy, solution-focused therapy, and integrative family therapy.  All of these therapeutic models aid me in supporting and helping families in dealing with complex and challenging stressors.  I’ve explained these modalities on my Individual Therapy page.  

 

Here are some of the issues that are addressed in my work with families:

 

  • Parent and Child(ren) developmental struggles

  • Parent and adolescent developmental struggles

  • Parent and young adult developmental challenges

  • Struggles across the generations

  • Aging parent issues

  • Separation

  • Divorce

  • Blended Family challenges

  • Illness

  • Grief and loss

  • Trauma

© 2017 DrLauriePatlinSuttenberg