I am a family therapist. I love families and everything about them. I value everyone's input into the solutions. No voice is too small.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arcadia, CA
I have a sub-specialty in Post-Adoption Family Therapy. I bring numerous years of working with children in the foster care and adoption field to my private practice work as a family therapist. I appreciate the fact that adoption is a life-long issue. It is not uncommon for families who have adopted children to experience conflicts with their adopted child or in the adjustment of the family, years after the adoption has been finalized. At this point, I can help parents and families get things back on track, keeping in mind the history and experiences of everyone involved.
Parents are the key. I appreciate how hard it is to be a parent these days. I have been teaching parenting classes and helping stressed-out parents move beyond their frustrations and into confident parenting for years. Helping parents move from enforcers to supporters is at the core of my work with parents. I help parents see the value in understanding the "why" behind their child's misbehavior and develop parenting strategies that nurture self-esteem, trust, and connection. Through the process, I support parents to understand their experience with their own parents and how it might be interfering with parenting their own children. I want parents to love being parents as much as they love their child.
It is getting harder and harder for families these days. The world seems to be spinning everyone apart. The solid foundation is crumbling away. In my Family Therapy sessions, I work closely with parents to create structure, routines, traditions, and rituals that support a healthy family culture and identity. Goals focus on creating positive, connecting experiences for families. So often, families do not know how to take the time to prioritize activities and events that build family cohesion. I give parents and families tools to improve communication, resolve conflicts, solve problems and build trust. Families learn to strengthen attachments and bonding so that children feel secure and confident as they venture out into the world and launch into healthy adult lives.
In my work with families, I use a psychodynamic orientation, which strives to understand the “why” behind the behavior. This involves bringing unconscious thoughts, feelings and memories to the surface in order to understand how they might be influencing current behavior. It is very common for parents, for example, to be unaware of how their own unmet childhood needs may be influencing their current role as a parent. In addition, it is equally important to seek understanding behind the misbehavior of children, in order to better meet their needs. Understanding alone, however, does not create behavior change. Yet, change is more likely to occur and be sustained when there is insight.
Structural Family Therapy is an approach which believes that change occurs in the whole family system when one part of the system changes. When I use interventions from a Structural Family Therapy orientation, I assess the family’s culture, rituals, stories, roles, hierarchies, alliances, rules, consequences and various other systems within the family. Through participation in therapeutic activities and homework assignments, I help to shift the family from conflict to connection. Overreaching goals of our work together include developing healthier patterns of communication and a stronger family identity. These will then contribute to improvement in individual family members emotional wellbeing.
Using a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach, I help children and their parents understand that their ancient brain ( the cognitive part) tries to trick them to feel worried and scared. These thoughts may seem like they come out of nowhere, but I help kids see how their own "stinking thinking" is what makes them scared. In this approach, I help families understand that their thoughts control their feelings and their behaviors. They can practice different thoughts and choose to behave in different ways. The work is to help families see how their thinking is making them jump to conclusions about bad things that might happen or think that things are really worse than they are. Kids can learn and practice new ways of thinking and new, healthier behaviors.