“The truth is, you cannot love yourself unless you have been loved and are loved. … Relationships are the agents of change and the most powerful therapy is human love.” – Bruce D. Perry
Family Isn’t Always Easy
At it’s best, your family can be a source of comfort and support. It is likely that all the members of the family want to be part of a group that they can enjoy and turn to in times of need.
However, it is not always easy to know how to bring this about. Challenges and stressors get in the way of the closeness and connection you are after. This leads to fights, stonewalling and resentment.
Some of these issues may include
- Parenting issues and challenging behaviour from children
- Difficulty dealing with mental health issues or substance abuse
- Couple problems that affect the whole family
- Life transitions
- Adjustment of a new family member into the home e.g. adoption, foster children, birth or grandparent
- Constant fighting and not being able to be together
“My wife and I had separated. We thought we had an agreeable relationship. Our 7 and 9 year old children struggled with our separation. We participated in family therapy with Kristina, initially to gain support for the children, not realising that we were also grieving ourselves. We were not sure of what was normal and what was not. Kristina assisted us to process our separation and grief and understand what was happening for the children. We both felt safe, comfortable and supported with Kristina. Kristina provided sand play therapy to the children individually and worked with us as well. She has an amazing ability to work with all ages – providing a gentle, humorous and non-judgmental approach. “
– Male, 38
Therapy Opens The Door To Healing
Some families are able to heal from these issues, but it takes years. Others don’t address their issues and are never able to reconcile. It doesn’t have to be like this for your family.
I can help you identify the negative patterns that your family has fallen into and the pain that underlies them. A neutral third party who is trained to understand family dynamics can help you to navigate the challenges you are facing.
In a family therapy session, everyone will get a chance to have their voice heard and feel understood. When you arrive, I usually begin by asking each member what you want from the meeting. We might prioritise the more important issues, but I will ensure that we stay on track and that everyone gets their issue discussed. Sessions last 60-90 minutes, depending on the age of the children present.
Once the first session is over, we will mutually agree how to proceed, but you will usually attend fortnightly or monthly sessions to discuss issues, progress and the next steps. We might choose to meet as a group, however this is not always the best approach, and we might decide to meet separately with each member.
As a clinical member of the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors, and Australian Family therapy Association I am aware that Relationship counselling /therapy is a specialised field of counselling. Becoming a member of the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors and the Australian Association of Family therapy means that I have fulfilled the associations training and clinical requirements.