No family is perfect – not even those with the white picket fence and the parents who have been married for 20 years. As a society, we tend to look to movies and television shows for the standard on what a happy family should look like. We even compare ourselves to our friends and neighbors, convinced that we’re the only ones who don’t have it all figured out. The truth of the matter, however, is that every family has its flaws. It’s just about how you choose to address and work through them. Consider how family therapy sessions with Dr. Jonah Schrag can help.
What is Family Therapy?
Let’s start with what family therapy is not. It is not a cure-all. You should not go into family therapy thinking a few sessions with a trained psychotherapist is going to “fix” everything, and when all is said and done, your family will be perfect. Family therapy is also not a means for one person to try and bend their family members to their own personal will.
With each counseling session, Dr. Schrag will help you understand that issues affecting a family are often bigger than one person. Instead of playing the blame game and focusing on the shortcomings of one person, your psychotherapist will work to help you view your family as one unit. Rather than asking what is best for each individual, you will be encouraged to think first and foremost about what is best for the family.
What Areas of Focus can a Family Therapist Help With?
- Child Development
- Protecting and Strengthening Your Marriage
- Transmitting Your Values to Your Children
- Managing Behavioral Problems with Children
- Surviving Adolescence
- Motivating Children
- The Effects of Divorce on Children and Families
- Preventing Divorce Fall-Out
- Helping Children to Thrive Post Divorce
How Do I Convince My Family To See A Family Therapist?
In most situations, there is one person who takes the initiative to seek out a family therapist. That person might understand the benefits of counseling, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else does. One family member may believe the motive is to simply get everyone in a room so he can be targeted as “the problem.” Others may feel the issues aren’t big enough to justify outside help.
Taking the time to understand why they don’t want to go and listen to their concerns shows that you’re willing to work together. From there, you may be able to convince them to at least meet with the family therapist and attend a few sessions. Even the smallest of steps are good enough if they’re headed in the right direction.
Teen & Kids Counseling in Westchester County
One thing that we can all certainly agree on is that being a child or teenager today is much different than it was even 20 years ago. Pressures from school, friends, social media and more are all heightened at a young age and watching your child struggle can be devastating for you as a parent. While you may think family therapy sessions are the best option to help you understand what your child is going through (and it very well might be), respect the fact that having you in the room may not be what is best for your son or daughter.
Many kids and teens find it difficult to open up about their struggles in front of their parents. Others just want to know that their problems will be taken seriously, and not written off as a hormonal phase. Consider allowing your child to partake in one-on-one counseling sessions to start, and transition to family therapy once they feel they are ready to let you in.
Dr. Schrag has over 30 years of clinical practice and teaching experience in family therapy and counseling in Westchester County. Specializing in psychotherapy for adults, teens, and children, the doctor sees all patients from his Katonah, NY office. To schedule a family therapy consultation, call 914-232-8000, or fill out the form to the right to request an appointment.