in West Essex

Family Therapy

Each session is up to 80 minutes and there are 2 therapists present in each session, 1 therapist will take the lead and the other therapist role is to observe the body language and reactions to what is said in the sessions, feeding back if necessary within the session or waiting until after the family have left, this is when therapists discuss the family, how things have gone in the session and what they need to work on in the next session. 

Each family has a unique and complex blend of dynamics.  When we meet families for the first session we listen to the client’s narratives and complete a genogram, the genogram is a visual display of three generations of the family, for each member of the family we take the members name, age, occupation/ school and if there are any medical conditions, physical or mental also any major traumas that may have happened,  once this is completed we look at relationships within the family, addressing which relationships  are good, difficult, strained  or perhaps non-existent  and any other status that is brought in the room, this allows the therapists to evaluate what family scripts may have been taken through generations and what works and what doesn’t, allowing the therapists  to form a hypothesis on the family dynamics and affect, this helps the therapists work on what areas need to be addressed going forward to enable families to work together in a more healthy and productive way.

The Genogram can be a very powerful tool, allowing some people in the family to see negative patterns that have emerged and how they might still be continuing these, sometimes the genogram can be distressing to see for different reasons such as the death of family members or perhaps bad relationships, but there are many positive outcomes as they can be reassured that there is a way forward due to the good relationships and a good family support system.

We also like to use stones, which children respond well to. We work with one family member at a time and ask the family members to choose a stone that represents themselves from a variety of different shape, size and texture, also picking a stone for other family members, they then place the stones in relation to the closeness of the relationship.   The person is then asked different questions for them to  It is not always the case, but we often find the larger, rougher stones represent the family members a child struggles with, whereas smaller, smoother stones will represent the family member they feel more comfortable with. Drawing and puppets can also be a useful means of exploring things that family members struggle to talk about.

People attend family therapy for a huge variety of reasons. We get a number of concerned parents who bring their child or children who are suffering anxiety and depression. Sometimes this is so severe that a child will not have been outside for some time and also not attended school, we look at how things can change within the family to empower change.  Loss is another common theme that we work with. Many children are unable to talk directly about loss and we find exploring it through books and current films can be rewarding as the child can link it to characters within the film or book and start opening up, acknowledging their own feelings of pain, confusion and loss, empowering them to be able to move on. 

When the family are referred it can often be the children that are stated as the cause of the referral, but this very often is not the case and the adults find that often, but in no means always, the reason can be related to their own childhoods and the family scripts and relationships that were formed or fractured from their own experiences and this has been brought through to adulthood. This is where the Genogram helps people to make connections and understand where the difficulties are coming from.

What happens in family therapy is confidential. We are also careful to avoid a situation where someone is to blame.  Where we have concerns arising from what is brought to the sessions, we have a duty of care to involve the relevant services. We will discuss with the family and make a referral to the Emotional Wellbing Mental Health Services   (Children Services), or Community Mental Health Teams (Adult Services). We will only do this when there is a clear risk of harm, or when a family agree it would be beneficial to access additional professional help.

The length of therapy varies, but we find that families attend an average of 10 sessions.  This usually allows us to explore the work with key issues and dynamics within a family. Some families will go onto further session which allows for a much more in depth work to be completed, but this requires a great deal of commitment, and is often the result of families feeling they need to make deep-rooted changes, which require greater time to address.

Anyone from the extended family can come to the therapy sessions. We’ve had 7 family members from three generations in a room with our two therapists. We have also had a single parent with one child, couples and everything in between.  We find that when all the relevant members of the family are prepared to engage with, and actively participate in the healing process, the more effective therapy can be. 

Cost:

Family Therapy: 80 for an 80 minute session with 2 therapists

Accessing Private Counselling

In order to help you make the best decision for you we have a number of ways that we can support you: 

Ways of accessing the service that’s right for you:

  • You can provide us with some details, via a confidential online form, as to why you are thinking about counselling at this time and what you hope to achieve. 

Within 48 hours a highly qualified therapist will review and make an assessment of what style of therapy will be most helpful to you based on the information you provide .There is no charge for this option.

  • We can provide brief telephone advice/ information about options available and how to proceed, please call 01371 876641. There is no charge for this option.

If you are returning to the service and you would like to see the same therapist give us a call on 01371 876641 and we will arrange that with you. There is no charge for this option.

If you are not sure counselling/therapy is for you:-

  • A telephone consultation can be a really helpful way of exploring further what it is you hope to get out of counselling, the way in which you most like to work and therefore the style of counselling that might be best suited to you: 

Telephone consultation – up to half an hour telephone conversation with a highly qualified therapist the cost of this is 15.00. 

To arrange a telephone consultation please call 01371 876641 or complete the telephone assessment form. Consultation will take place within the following 48 hours.

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