Family can influence our perceptions, our modes of interacting, and our styles of communicating. In Family Therapy, the therapist applies therapeutic principles while engaging the participation of family members, individually and as a group. The process recognizes and reinforces constructive aspects of the family’s relationships while also allowing destructive elements and counter-productive interaction styles to be identified, acknowledged, and changed. A family is considered to be any group of individuals who are committed to one another’s well-being (usually for life).
Marital therapy assists couples in working more effectively as a couple and in cultivating mutually acceptable problem-solving strategies. A marriage is similar in its development to individual and family development in that there is a marital life cycle that has fairly predictable stages. At each stage there are interpersonal skills to be mastered and the therapist helps the couple deal with their current issues.
Typical marital problems that couples seek treatment for include:
Inability to compromise
Extended family issues (e.g., dealing with in-laws)
Marriage as a whole is different from the sum of its parts. For example, to describe the husband as an individual and the wife as an individual is not the same as describing the pair of them in relationship and interaction. The therapist helps the couple pay attention to the patterns which connect them as a means of appreciating the overall structure of their marriage.
EARLY CHILD ASSESSMENT
Three primary purposes of early child assessments:
1. Identify children who are low on the protective factors so that targeted classroom and home-based strategies can be implemented leading to the strengthening of abilities
2. Generate classroom profiles indicating the relative strengths of the child so that classroom instructional strategies can build upon noted strengths to facilitate the healthy social and emotional growth of the child
3. Screen for children who may be exhibiting behavioral concerns so that such concerns can be addressed before they become entrenched and possibly develop into behavioral disorders.
OUR APPROACH TO TREATMENT
Clients come to the Heathrow Counseling for a wide range of reasons, hoping to feel and function better. Common issues include: general anxiety and stress, difficult childhood and family experiences (past and present), relationship struggles, depression, homesickness, and eating and body image issues. Clients also come to the Center to work toward developing a better self-image, to explore existential themes (e.g. "What's my purpose?" or "Why am I here?"), or to achieve personal growth. The approach to such treatment varies from person-to-person, but may for some include a good deal of initial work involving the client's past experiences, and for others may emphasize current experiences. We hope to provide a supportive environment in which our clients are able to work toward their unique goals.
Cognitive therapy, which focuses on the ways your thoughts affect your feelings and behaviors. Thus, enhancing a person's ability to find the strength within themselves to welcome change and learn ways to improve their life and their relationships
In individual counseling or therapy, a client meets one-on-one with a staff member, usually in fifty-minute sessions. Such a working relationship may last for only a few sessions or may continue for much longer, depending on the needs of the client. Although talking to a counselor for the first time can feel awkward or embarrassing, individual therapy is an effectively process that can deal with a variety of issues and improve the client’s quality of life.
Group psychotherapy, like individual psychotherapy, is intended to help people who would like to improve their ability to cope with difficulties and problems in their lives. But, while in individual therapy the patient meets with only one person (the therapist), in group therapy the meeting is with a whole group and one or two therapists. Group therapy focuses on interpersonal interactions, so relationship problems are addressed well in groups.
The aim of group psychotherapy is to help with solving the emotional difficulties and to encourage the personal development of the participants in the group. The therapist (called conductor, leader or facilitator) chooses as candidates for the group people who can benefit from this kind of therapy and those who may have a useful influence on other members in the group.
HOW DOES GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY WORK?
Members of the group share with others personal issues which they are facing. A participant can talk about events s/he was involved in during the week, her/his responses to these events, problems s/he had tackled, etc. The participant can share his/her feelings and thoughts about what happened in previous sessions, and relate to issues raised by other members or to the leader's words. Other participants can react to her/his words, give her/him feedback, encourage, give support or criticism, or share their thoughts and feelings following his/her words. The subjects for discussion are not determined by the leader but rise spontaneously from the group. The member in the group feels that (s)he is not alone with her/his problem and that there are others who feel the same. The group can become a source of support and strength in times of stress for the participant. The feedback (s)he gets from others on her/his behavior in the group can make her/him become aware to maladaptive patterns of behavior, change her/his point of view and help him/her adopt more constructive and effective reactions. It can become a laboratory for practicing new behaviors.
Frequently the people you meet in the group represent others in your past or current life with whom you have difficulty. In group therapy you have the opportunity to work through these situations.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Group psychotherapy is suitable for a large variety of problems and difficulties, beginning with people who would like to develop their interpersonal skills and ending with people with emotional problems like anxiety, depression, etc. There are support groups for people in the same situation or crisis (e.g. groups for bereaved parents, groups for sexually abused women), but usually the recommendation for the therapeutic group is to be as heterogeneous as possible and represent a micro-cosmos. For that reason in building the group, the leader will try to include men and women, young and old people, married and singles, etc. The group is especially effective for people with interpersonal difficulties and problems in relations. Whether these difficulties are in social, working, couple or even sexual relations, the participant can benefit a lot in these areas.