At our best of existence, we are parts of a family, and at our highest level of achievement we work to keep the family alive. – Maya Angelou
Family therapy helps parents and children better understand and appreciate themselves and each other. Greater mutual understanding helps children feel validated, and results in the development of a secure and healthy parent-child relationship, a joyful experience for parents. Parents gain insight about their child’s questionable behavior and emotional presentation, helping them to breathe easier.
In Dr. Cohen’s eyes a family is a group of people committed to caring about and for one another. They define themselves as a family and hold each others’ hearts close to their own.
Dr. Cohen helps families navigate the challenges of life related to raising a child and being a family. She also works with couples who are in the process of considering parenthood, or are transitioning to parenthood.
Below are examples of situations, during which parents reach out for Family Therapy:
Times to benefit from family therapy are not limited to life’s tragedies or struggles. Reaching joyous milestones, including school graduations, early adult launchings, marriage, and the birth of a sibling, shifts the way families operate. Even the happiest changes include elements of uncertainty and the unknown, and therefore, can be stressful. This is especially true for young family members who typically have little input with such decisions. Proactively addressing “the unknowns, the questions, and the whatabouts,” as a family can reduce anxiety, clarify assumptions and help family members feel more secure.
Research shows Family Therapy is useful for: children, young people, adults and older adults experiencing a wide range of difficulties and circumstances including:
|Child and adolescent mental health issues, difficulties with emotional regulation, mood disorders|
|Child and adolescent behaviour difficulties, defiance, self-harm, truancy|
|Parenting questions and challenges|
|Parenting conflicts; e.g., when to get on the same parenting page and when to agree to disagree|
|Multigenerational parenting conflicts|
|Illness, disability, and the related loss or grief, and subsequent redistribution of responsibilities in the family|
|Separation, divorce, blended family life, or other circumstances that change the family’s structure|
|Impending death, hospice, loss and grief related to the passing of a significant person or pet, who was considered part of the family|
|Adoption issues, foster and kinship care, or the care of a relative’s minors|
|Emotional and behavioral problems arising from witnessing domestic violence, or being a victim of abuse|
|The effects of trauma; e.g., being a victim of crime, significant abuse, a natural disaster, or a car, boat, or hiking accident|
|Family or individual difficulties related to individuation, launching a young adult, or other developmental and life cycle milestones|
|Intergenerational value differences|
|Conflicts related to immigration experiences or acculturation|
Since no two families are the same and come to Family Therapy for various reasons, Dr Cohen initially seeks to understand what’s happening, how the family is functioning, and the wants and needs of each individual. To accomplish this understanding Dr Cohen may suggest an occasional meeting with some family members individually and some members together. Typically, Family Therapy works best when everyone involved participates at one point or another.
Dr. Cohen is committed to successful outcomes and assisting families in realizing win-win solutions for all family members. Family Therapy aims to ensure that children and families are thriving, happy and enjoying a quality family life.