A very important component of my work is viewing my clients as living and operating within the context of a system: parents, spouses, siblings, co-workers, classmates, teachers, healthcare providers, extended family members, etc. I believe that the members of this system can present both dramatic challenges to my client’s growth, as well as being my client’s greatest source of strength and support. However, in my experience, I have often seen the individual isolated, viewed apart from this system and treatment compartmentalized.
That is, children and young adults are often seeing an individual therapist, a psychiatrist and may also be in group therapy. Additionally, in school, they may see a social worker, a psychologist and a special service coordinator or academic advisor. Academically, a child or young adult may have six to eight teachers all interacting with them independently with little coordination. And most importantly, families are often excluded or kept at a distance from the individual’s psychotherapeutic as well as academic/vocational intervention. I encourage parents to actively participate in the therapeutic process. I will work closely with parents, providing support via individual, couple, and family counseling during what are often stressful times, facilitating communication between family members and helping parents better understand how they can help support and promote their children’s social-emotional well-being while on their journey towards health and personal growth. While strictly adhering to principals of client/therapist confidentiality, my work might also entail interfacing with their child’s therapist to help parents better understand what to expect during their child’s time in therapy. Additionally, I will often serve in the role of advocate; interfacing with schools to ensure the student is receiving appropriate academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support services, monitoring progress, and if needed, facilitating and ensuring that appropriate adjustments in services being rendered are made.