I believe that a family is a unique system with its own makeup and communication design. These designs are determined by many things, such as the parents' beliefs and values, the personalities of all family members, and the influence of the extended family (parents, grandparents). As a result of these aspects, each family develops its own unique makeup which affects all of its members.
Families can find benefit from therapy whether they are experiencing a stressful event that may strain the family, such as financial hardship, divorce, or the death of a loved one. Or just everyday concerns, like communication problems, interpersonal conflict, or behavioral problems in children and adolescents, can also be addressed in family therapy. Family therapy can also be effective in treating mental health concerns of one member that impact the family as a whole, such as depression, substance abuse, chronic illness, and food issues. And can be used proactively before problems begin such as when blending families, birth of a new child, or any anticipate major change in their lives.
During therapy sessions, the family's strengths are used to help them handle their problems. Family counseling aims to promote understanding and collaboration among family members in order to solve the family problems.
I utilize mediation as a family therapy method in order to empower the members and create a nonjudgmental way of resolving conflict with in a family. My role is to help clients work together to find their own solution to the problem or issue. Mediation can help familyies resolve even chronic areas of conflict. Mediation can also be very useful to parents and stepchildren or teenage children who find themselves at odds, because each participant has a voice in the process. Working toward solutions that everyone has had a part in designing helps to avoid the power struggles and resentment that can often form a backdrop to life. Mediation also offers a way to deal with intense emotion that does not require extensive insight-oriented work that some family members might be resistant to.