What is Child and Family Counseling?
Regardless of the family structure, the healing comes from creating a sense of security, protection, and comfort for each family member, ensuring each family member has a positive sense of self and the ability to effectively regulate their emotions. This is the objective of child and family counseling.
What is Our Counseling Approach to Family Therapy?
We utilize Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT) – an evidence-based counseling approach that has been validated in clinical trials as being highly effective for individual, couples, and family counseling. Our approach is somatic (body-oriented) and skill-based. New skills and healthy patterns of functioning will be develop and yours to use for the rest of your life.
Children are highly influenced by their environment and their caregivers. The essential condition for healthy development is the child’s relationship with nurturing adults. For this reason we cannot work with kids in isolation. The child only spends an hour a week with a therapist, and much more time at home or school. For most effective and long-lasting results the whole family needs to be involved in the healing process.
The most efficient way to resolve relationship issues within a family is often to have all of the family members in the room or online with the therapist at the same time. The counselor will often work with some or all family members individually, then bring them together to discuss important issues that involve the whole family.
Sometimes parents bring a child to counseling because of the behavioral or emotional concern but it turns out that the parent actually has to do some individual counseling and healing themselves in order to most effectively support their child.
Sometimes Couples Counseling is the best thing the parents can do to help their child. As the parents heal themselves and their relationship, the children’s perceived problems will often dissipate and never come back. In most cases children naturally thrive when their parents are balanced, grounded, and happy.
Children can also be supported individually by engaging in Play Therapy, which helps them express and process their emotions in an age-appropriate way.
What Are Some Reasons to Seek Child and Family Counseling?
Depending on the age of the children and the family structure, family members might seek family counseling for a wide variety of reasons:
- Prenatal and Postnatal counseling
- Sleep issues
- Feeding issues
- Attachment and bonding
- Developmental delays
- Behavior problems
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Learning or attention problems
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Difficulty regulating moods
- Intense feelings
- Regular worry and anxiety
- Bereavement issues
- Exposure to traumatic event
- Building self regulation, coping strategies and problem solving skills
- Parent coaching
- Communication problems
- High conflict families
- Blended families
- Dealing with separation or divorce
How Long Does Child and Family Counseling Take?
Of course, each situation and each family is different. Many parents just need a few sessions of education and encouragement to turn around discipline problems with their children. Other situations may be very complex, involve inter-generational trauma, blended families, divorce, high conflict, etc. In these circumstances it may take between several months to several years to completely heal the family system and ensure that the new patters are functioning successfully and all the presenting concerns are resolved.
Get in Touch with a Family Counselor:
Are you ready to reach out and get professional support for family counseling? Get in touch with us and a family counselor will contact you. You are welcome to ask questions about child and family counseling in California or to schedule a complementary 15-minute phone consultation.
We are physically located in Santa Barbara County (Santa Barbara and San Ynez), and are available virtually to help couples residing anywhere in California.
Our counseling team looks forward to hearing from you.
- Write us an Email
- Call or text us at 805-245-3340