At Family and Couple Therapy Services, Inc. we work with clients of all age ranges and many differing concerns.  Your first session is like a blind date.  You need to know about your therapist and he or she needs to know about your background. You will review your present situation by exploring briefly your relationship developments in your family of origin and nodal events in your life. Before the first session ends you will have told the therapist the “why” in “What brought you to therapy?”

The Basics — All therapy/counseling situations are made up of four parts:

1) Gender,

2) Personality,

3) Family of Origin, and

4) Nodal (significant or important) Events that have impacted your life.

At the core of these parts is a life centering purpose that is simply called Solution Focused Choices.  Family and Couple Therapy Services, Inc. is dedicated to helping you make sense of and resolving each of those four parts.  Individuals, couples, families, children and adults are all affected, positively and negatively, by gender, personality, family of origin and nodal events.

Family Therapy — While it is not necessary to come to therapy as a family, it is important that most therapeutic situations have a “reality check” from someone else who knows the primary client. For example: It would be more healthy to have the a member of the family and the client talk about the problems than just one or the other.  Many times Family Therapy gives everyone an opportunity to express their concerns and interest in the well being of a loved one.

Individual Therapy — Individual counseling is the most common type of therapy.  Most of the time therapy is about anxiety, depression, and other disorders as found in the DSM IV.  However, therapy usually has  focus such as: differing types of abuse, eating disorders, male and/or female life concerns, workplace and school anxiety, grief reactions, and the list could go on.

Couple Therapy — Couple therapy is most often about depression or anxiety in one member of the couple such as: health related issues (cancer, disease, or physical trauma), matters relating to betrayal or abandonment, the in-between years of young children and aging parents, and the list could go on.

Child Therapy — Many times it is important for parents to become the “co-therapist” with their child.  Parents should attend the first session for child focused therapy and discuss their observations with the therapist; this is especially true for children under the age of six.  Children between the ages of six and twelve still consider their parents the most important “leader” in their lives.  After the age of twelve most children have begun to use many of their abstract thinking skills and definitely have minds of their own; they are usually more interested in individual therapy.

Finally, here are some other rules about any therapeutic alliance: You should feel comfortable with your therapist; Your initial goals should be set within the first two sessions of therapy; You should feel that you have set the goals and not just goals from your therapist; Your therapist should be able to work well with your family in addressing your goals and helping you establish healthy boundaries; Your session should not be just “complaining” time — you are building changes; You should look for some change and/or improvement in four to five sessions; Therapy will help you recognize that a minor change may bring about major differences in your life!