When thinking about pursuing individual therapy, people often wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” “Why can’t I cope with what’s going on in my life?” “I’m all alone in this?” to name a few. Once there’s a realization that something needs to be different, a person may feel more compelled to seek therapy. Whatever the reason might be: Anxiety, depression, substance abuse, trauma, coping with life transitions, or for personal growth, a person can benefit from choosing to walk down a path of increased self-awareness.
By meeting individually with a trained therapist in a warm, supportive, and safe environment, this path can lead to an emotionally healthier and meaningful life. In order for therapy to be successful, you will benefit from being an active participant in helping to establish goals. Therapy is highly individualized and its’ course is variable to meet your individual needs.
When thinking about pursuing couples therapy, people often wonder, “Will things ever get better between us?” “I feel rejected by the person who is supposed to love me the most, I don’t know what to do?” “I can’t let go of how much I’ve been hurt, how do I know it won’t happen again?” to name a few. Once there’s a realization that something needs to be different, a couple may feel more compelled to seek therapy. Whatever the reason might be: Communication or conflict resolution problems, feelings of emptiness or resentment, parenting issues, addiction, loss or tragedy, infidelity, or sexual and intimacy issues, a couple can benefit from choosing to walk together down a path of increased self-awareness.
While the primary focus is on the relationship, formulating a plan may also entail each of you to focus on your own issues that may negatively be impacting the relationship. In the case of therapy, you along with your therapist will explore your upbringing, family dynamics, style of relating, and past experiences may impact the relationship and will hopefully lead to an emotionally healthier and meaningful life as a couple. Successful couple’s therapy does not always mean reconciliation but rather learning to more effectively work towards common goals, such as co-parenting or dissolving a partnership.
Every family is unique when it comes to their own set of strengths and weaknesses. While it can be challenging for some families in relation to juggling daily responsibilities of work or school along with meeting each individual family member’s needs, for others this is not an issue. However, when there is a breakdown in communication, or a family member is struggling with mental illness, health issue, substance use, or behavioral problems, this can significantly strain the family ties. Whatever the disruption may be, whether it is expected or unexpected, this may be the time when seeking a professional therapist may help.
Depending on the problems within the family, whether there’s an adjustment due to divorce or remarriage or there’s a depressed parent coupled with a defiant teenager, the right combination of treatment solutions need to be identified and tailored so as to shift things back to living together more effectively. In some situations, it may be most beneficial that family members seek individual therapy to effectively cope, while also engaging in family sessions to improve upon relationships within the family unit. In order for family therapy to be most successful, each family member needs to be an active, willing participant and be open to feedback about one’s behavior and how it is impacting others.
As adults we have the ability and tools to verbally express our needs and wants and talk through them to gain perspective and insight. For children, 3 to 12 years of age, this is more challenging as they do not have the same cognitive ability to process their emotions verbally. Therefore, oftentimes their behaviors and actions are a more accurate reflection of what’s going on emotionally. When children are “acting out,” it is often their inability to manage their feelings of being overwhelmed.
Play therapy uses the child’s natural language of play in a structured and healing manner. This form of therapy allows children to express their experiences and feelings, cope with difficult emotions, and find effective solutions to problems due to its non-threatening nature. It has been found to be highly effective for children with behavioral difficulties such as: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorders, academic and social development, physical and learning disabilities, and conduct disorders. Other areas of concern for children such as: Depression, anxiety, anger management, grief and loss, divorce and other disruptions in the family, and trauma are also effectively managed through the use of play therapy.