During the course of my career as a social worker, I have worked with families who face all kinds of challenges. It is simply a fact that families undergo their own life cycle of developmental changes, and each stage demands its own adjustments, which largely have to do with roles and boundaries. From becoming parents, to learning to let go of adult children, to figuring out one’s place as a grandparent, to caring for aging parents – all of this is part of the cycle. Add to these “normal challenges” the additional stresses of, for example, a family member being diagnosed with illness, to dealing with a death, to creating a healthy blended family, and clearly there are times when people need an opportunity to step back and regroup. It can be very confusing to know how to help each other, how to take care of oneself while being there for others, and how to consider options that may be helpful in the long run.
Depending on the specific family situation, I will work singly, in pairs and in a group to help family members find a common perspective on their situation, one which empowers them to communicate respectfully and make decisions which are in line with what the situation may be requiring of them. I trust that as people continue to talk with one another, generate ideas and explore potential choices, the “solutions” often emerge by themselves.
There are many different schools of family therapy and having training in this field during my degree programs, I can say I draw on most of them in my practice. My years of experience have led me to conclude that all are useful, and lay out different avenues for change and growth.