Marriage and Family Therapy for Parents and Adolescents
Strengthening couples and families & supporting adolescent issues
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Counseling for Marriages, Families & Adolescents Can Have a Lifetime Benefit
It is often said that the best way to love your children is to love your spouse. Many parents are extremely loving and supportive of their adolescent children when their partner is not around. However, kids often witness the exchanges or lack of exchanges between their parents and slowly form an opinion of what that means. Sadly this is not often the opinion parents wish for them to have. No matter how much tension exists between couples, they typically desire to shield their children from their problems. The problem is that despite efforts to minimize hostility, there remains an emotional distance that adolescents perceive between their parents. This can lead them to view love as being less than intimate in its feel.
Healthy marriages and families have specific components that separate them from others. These individuals, couples or families tend to:
Own their part in causing conflict
Maintain an awareness of both their own feelings as well as those of their loved ones
Have a strong willingness to make change
Use words in a way that promotes positive change (avoids "blame game" language)
Able to play tug o' war on the same side of the rope
Maintain a mindfulness of the energy they wish to put into creating change
Evaluate their own progress (not their partner or family)
Has a desire to continuously try to understand their partner, child or family
Is slow to anger and quick to forgive
Is able to live in the present and avoid replaying the stories of past pain
Couples therapy allows marriages and relationships to recognize that there is a different way to approach how problems are viewed. There is a way that marriage partners can begin to look at the pain in their lives as useful toward creating change. Many couples simply want their problems to go away as oppossed to being better understood and used to create closeness. When couples begin to look at problems with their spouse or family as an opportunity for understanding, they become less afraid of chaos and begin to see its potential benefits.
Are you a parent of a struggling teenager?
Have you noticed recent changes in your adolescent's behavior?
Do you find that he/she is not taking any accountability? Not showing any remorse for poor behavior?
Does your teenager seem depressed and lacking in energy?
Is your teen engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as drug and alcohol usage, stealing, and school indifference?
Are you worried that your adolescent is no longer willing to be influenced by you?
Is your child or adolescent's ADHD interfering with school performance?
Would you like support in connecting with your teenager again?
Navigating through adolescence, particularly the teen years can be extremely challenging for both adolescents and parents. These years are marked by frequent and often abrupt mood swings that make if difficult for even the most savvy parents to handle. It is often difficult to determine whether an adolescent is experiencing clinical depression or "teenage blues."
Challenging life events such as divorce, school failure, peer pressure, ADHD, substance abuse, dating and sports, along with physiological factors (i.e.,hormonal fluctuations), impact the day to day mood and behavior of teens. In addition, adolescents' moods can shift based on their self-esteem, body image, peer group, level of resiliency, parental expectations, exposure to illicit substances and other factors. Teenagers are constantly comparing their world view against their peers, their parents and their own in a search to discover their unique identity.
All of us as parents have blindspots that sometimes makes understanding our kids' needs challenging despite our greatest efforts. Having a skilled therapist that can assist you in seeing some of the frustrating dynamics and helping you gain the relationship you desire with them. Parents will do whatever it takes to make their kids happy and promoting family closeness is at the heart of my practice. Teenagers are often grossly misunderstood. A boy who appears angry is often depressed and scared, despite the outward bravado. The teenage girl who seems to be annoyed by everything is often begging to re-connect with her parents- she just needs her behavior framed differently.
Through a supportive and collaborative relationship, teens can work in partnership with their parents and a teen friendly therapist in creating change that can last a lifetime. When parents are able to share their concerns, fears and vulnerabilities in counseling, it often sets the stage for their teenager to disclose their own apprehensions. By working from a strength-based model in therapy, teenagers and parents can come to understand that much of the pain that exists in their lives has to do with a difficulty in letting go of past issues. This must be done to create space for a new present. Creating positive communication and emotional connectedness between parents and teens allows for possibilities that were previously hard to imagine.
I have had the privilege of working with adolescents and families for the past 10 years. I have an optimistic and creative spirit and will be honored to support your family in the best way that I can.
Here are some of the benefits you may experience through working with me:
A way of viewing marriage problems that empowers you
A different way of thinking about past pain
An emphasis on present actions
A collaborative and goal-oriented approach that creates lasting change
Improved emotional and physical closeness with your partner
An ability to argue more productively and sensitively
a marriage where problems are viewed as opportunities for closeness
a mindfulness of the need to "feed and weed" yourself and your relationship
Improved self-esteem and improved resiliency
Improved ability to communicate more effectively (assertiveness training)
Increased positive energy, motivation, self-awareness and conflict resolution skills
Improved ability to identify triggers of sadness, anger or anxiety
Ability to create "space" between what happens and your reaction to improve decision-making
A recognition that you have more personal power than you think
High-level of experience with ADHD and learning disabilities
A fresh perspective on your teenager and developing new connection with him/her
A wider range of options in which to effectively intervene with your adolescent
An ability to develop and agree upon goals with your teen
A greater awareness of your incredible influence on your teens' behavior and emotional well-being
An awareness of your existing parenting strengths and support in maintaining such skills
A therapist that supports parents just as much as teens
A family (systems) therapy approach toward understanding family dynamics
A strength-based approach to family counseling that incorporates all family member feedback
A time efficient means to helping families move in their desired direction through an active approach
An awareness of the complexity of family trends/patterns that gets unknowingly adopted
A therapist who will incorporate humor and lightness to tense moments to easy anxiety
Are you ready to start individual,relationship or family counseling?
Call Bryon Remo, M.Ed., LMFT at: 203-577-9194 for a free and confidential phone consultation.