Family Counseling


Does Your Family Seem to Argue About Everything?

Is your family frequently in conflict over who took what from whom, and who made a rude comment? Do you feel as though your kids just won’t listen to you and your partner? Do you and your partner disagree on how things should be done in the family? Are you frustrated and exhausted and wish there were a way to resolve all of this conflict?

Maybe you and/or your partner wants to be more involved in your child’s life, but struggles to balance work and family values. Your family may feel like it is a divided unit, and you aren’t sure how to bring everyone together.

Many Families Face Conflict Between Partners, Parents and Siblings

Whatever your struggle may be, family therapy can help. There’s bound to be conflict in any family. Everyone has his or her own personality and many times, personalities clash. Sometimes, siblings argue just to argue. If you have siblings, think back to when you were growing up. There was probably a fair share of arguments in your childhood home, just as there may be in your home now.

Whenever there is more than one person living together, there’s bound to be conflict. Conflict may include debates about which way to face the toilet paper roll or what constitutes disrespect. The conflicts may seem small to those not involved, but to those involved, they are real. It is better to figure things out now, rather than to have the conflicts continue until your children are adults.

With Family Therapy, Your Home Life Can Get Better

I have been providing family therapy since 2003. I can work with parents, siblings, or any other combination of family members as needed.

In sessions, we will look at everyone’s role and how each person can help facilitate your desired changes. Even with only one person striving for change, this will influence the others as well.

Change is not easy! The thought of making changes may be scarier than what’s happening now in the family. The current way of relating is predictable. Imagine the possibilities should you decide to create a different outcome.

No matter what direction your family wants to take in family therapy, it will be important for family members to notice the relationship they have with everyone and what they may want to be different. This will guide our work together and keep members focused on their goals. After discussions around the current situation, you all will decide what direction you’d like to go in from there. When you help each other, no one will feel alone in this big task. Everyone will leave our sessions with a task at hand to make a difference.

In my work as a family therapist, I use humor and take an interested, inquisitive stance to help everyone feel more comfortable in sessions and help people take responsibility for their roles. You don’t have to feel like you’re tiptoeing around emotional explosions anymore. With help and support, you can bring your family together.

You may believe that family therapy can help your family resolve conflict, but still have questions or concerns…

Would it be better to just focus on one person in my family?

We can approach family therapy sessions from many different angles. Unless someone in your family seems to struggle with mental health issues (which would need to be addressed first), then I would say it’s probably best to work with the family as a whole. The group dynamic can also prevent members from feeling that they are the problem – it is a family issue. If someone feels like they are the reason for therapy, then they will likely feel more defensive and less open to counseling.

I’m afraid family therapy won’t help.

That’s a natural fear whenever starting something new. You certainly don’t want things to get worse. If your family has been in therapy before, and it was not helpful, then we will spend some time talking about what worked with the previous therapist and what did not. By understanding these two things, we will be better prepared to not repeat old patterns in family therapy. If your family has not been in therapy before, then we will talk about what each person needs from each other and from me to feel comfortable in making it work.

My family does not want to come to therapy.

I understand. Maybe they, too, are afraid it won’t help. Or, maybe they are afraid that they will be judged or forced to make uncomfortable changes. Bringing a stranger into your personal life to talk about very intimate details is never a comfortable thing. Getting used to the idea of coming to therapy is the beginning phase of starting treatment. Once you arrive, the rest is up for discussion.

Child Counseling

Are You Worried About Your Child’s Well-being?

Is your child struggling and it seems like everyone out there is watching? Are you unsure how to parent ­– or even afraid? Does your child seem worried over just about everything? Is your child not listening to you or to teachers? Do you wonder if there is a bigger issue going on? Maybe you wish to figure out what is going on with your child so you could offer the best possible help?

Parenting is no easy task. Maybe your child gets overwhelmed with emotions and nothing seems to sooth him or her. You may feel as though you are a bad parent who can’t manage your child. Perhaps your child is even struggling in school and you don’t know how to best help.

Maybe teachers or school administrators have begun to express concern about your child. You might appreciate the effort to help, but feel embarrassed that so many people are involved. Do you worry the school is looking at you and thinking your parenting needs to change. You may feel helpless and wonder what can be done to help your child feel better and function with greater ease.


Raising a Child Can Be Stressful, Confusing and Overwhelming

If you are worried about your child and doubtful of your parenting, you are not alone. When you first have a child, the baby looks so precious. Before you know it, your baby starts talking and grows into his or her own personality. This can be a wonderful experience to witness and yet sometimes it can be challenging as well. It’s hard not to internalize your child’s behaviors as something you are doing wrong, rather than seeing their challenges simply as moments in which they need support. But, remember that your son or daughter is trying to learn the game of life. This can be overwhelming for anyone, especially a child who has such limited life experiences.

Learning to ride a bike, or learning the rules of a new teacher can all be difficult, especially when he or she may struggle internally as well. When your child struggles, in any way, he or she relies on your support. Because no one gets handed a parenting manual, it makes sense if you are not sure how to help support your child with every situation he or she faces. Consider taking a step back. Take some deep breaths and recognize that it’s okay you don’t have all the answers. We are all imperfect beings that sometimes need help from others.

Child Counseling Can Help

Therapists at MLB Therapy, PLLC want to hear everyone’s perspective, including both parents, your child’s, and his or her teachers, when appropriate. This helps ensure that we have an all-encompassing view of the situation. Depending on the age of your child, we often want to see you (parents) first to ensure your child does not feel uncomfortable in discussing his or her challenges. Child counseling needs to be a positive experience, somewhere that your child wants to be.

The structure of therapy is specific to each family and your desired outcomes. Together, your therapist and you will decide the best, more appropriate path forward to start your journey. Sessions may include your child with the therapist, you and your co-parent without your child or even you with your child. With guidance and support, your child can learn to better navigate his or her emotions and any other challenges of growing up. You don’t have to go through all of the challenges of parenting alone.

Depending on your situation, there may be communications between your therapist and your student’s school personal to ensure the school has the support and resources to best support your child. This collaboration will also ensure that the therapist has all the necessary information to promote consistency and growth among all the adults involved.


Is Your Teenager Struggling?

Does it seem like everything is a struggle with your teenager? Do you worry about the friends your teen hangs out with? Is he or she struggling with depression or anxiety? Maybe your teenager is self-harming or having suicidal thoughts.

Maybe your teen just seems completely unmotivated and has started failing classes. Or, maybe you and your teenager get along great, but you worry that he or she is an over-achiever…struggling to live up to the internal and/or external pressures to get great grades. This pressure might be so high that it leads to anxiety and depression, or even scarier, self-harm.

Perhaps you want to tell your teen all the wonderful things that you learned throughout your life, but he or she does not want to hear much of it. You might frequently find yourself in a power struggle and not know how to stop.


Adolescence Is Challenging for Many

Adolescence Is Challenging for Many
Learning to ride a bike, or learning the rules of a new teacher can all be difficult, especially when he or she may struggle internally as well. When your child struggles, in any way, he or she relies on your support. Because no one gets handed a parenting manual, it makes sense if you are not sure how to help support your child with every situation he or she faces. Consider taking a step back. Take some deep breaths and recognize that it’s okay you don’t have all the answers. We are all imperfect beings that sometimes need help from others.

Teen Counseling Can Help Your Teen Explore Independence Safely

I have been working with teenagers since 1999, and I know that every teenager and every family is different. I will tailor my approach to your teen’s specific needs and desires. Sometimes teenagers want to just work with me alone, and that may be all that is needed. Other times, I often try to incorporate family work when applicable.

My practice tends to be solution-focused and insight driven. I try to make my office as relaxed of an environment as possible. I use humor when appropriate and connect with teens on their level. Therapy does not have to be all serious all of the time. I truly enjoy working with teenagers and love watching them evolve into the adults they strive to become. Having an outsider to talk to can help your teen feel more open, less guarded, and more willing to talk.

What if my son or daughter won’t come to teen counseling?

Consider planting seeds in your teen’s mind during times of difficulty. Try to make it seem like it is his or her idea. The truth is, I have worked with some teens who have resisted coming to teen counseling or flat out refused to come, and when they get there, they open up to the idea just fine. I have other teens whose parent “forced” them to come, and it goes nowhere. Ultimately, the person has to want to come. Sometimes it helps if they view it as helpful to them in some way rather than believing that you think of them as a problem. Another option is to come in yourself to work on parenting. I also offer a parenting group that can help. Feel free to visit my Group Therapy Page to learn more about it.