Creating Family Connections - Sam Whelan, Family Therapy, Winnipeg Manitoba

By: Creating Family Connections  09-12-2011

      Family therapy is a reasonable option when a child or children, no matter what their age, are experiencing excessive or prolonged difficulties in any of the following areas: regulating their emotions, parent and/or sibling relationships, daycare or school difficulties, substance abuse, depression, anxiety and any other context where the child's troubles are negatively impacting either them or those that care about them. At times I am asked, "Why does the whole family need to attend therapy if only one child is having difficulties"? The simple answer is that, healing is a relational process and there are no more important relationships in a child's life than either their parents or siblings.

      However, depending on the circumstances I may suggest a specific number of sessions for one child followed by more inclusive family/parental involvement. For example; I may use individual play therapy with a child who is experiencing difficulties in day care or elementary school, followed by a number of sessions where the caregivers, parents and/or siblings are included. The rational for such decisions are discussed with the client, caregivers and/or parents and a mutual decision directs the manner in which therapy is conducted.

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