Yes, definitely! Trauma-informed therapy is advisable for people who are dealing with divorce, especially children. The separation of parents is something that can alter their lives, and coping does not happen overnight. According to Cynthia Ridgway, MA, LMHC, NCC, DCC, “Kids with trauma (and the more trauma, the more true this is) are very vulnerable when they are disciplined, so you want to discipline very carefully. Try to be as gentle as you can while still holding reasonable and safe guidelines.”
The divorce of parents is considered to be traumatic. It is something that creates a hole where one can be trapped if he doesn’t know how to climb up. Adolescents who are a product of divorced parents are prone to misbehaving like getting involved in substance abuse. For this reason, parents should be aware of the things they can contribute to the mental wellness of their children. Trauma-informed therapy focuses on the leading cause of the problem which is a traumatic event. In this case, the divorce of parents.
Opting to send their children to a trauma-informed therapy session is a crucial step for parents towards preventing serious problems in the future, as Frederick Douglass said, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
When parents decide to get divorced, there must be a serious problem that cannot be fixed with just a simple talk or compromise. It is fair to assume that there must be some form of abuse that happened: physical, emotional, financial, or even sexual. As Tiffany Lowther, MA, LMHC explains it, “Divorce is emotional, and for most parents and certainly for their children, it is the most emotion they have ever experienced or confronted all at once.”
Traumatic Abuses That Happen In A Marriage Resulting To A Divorce:
Physical abuse is traumatic. When the children witness, commonly the father, beating their mother, it has a horrible impact on their minds. They are exposed to violence; therefore, they could resort to it whenever they are faced with a feud or disagreement with other people.
Emotional abuse is hurtful words thrown at someone that affects his or her self-worth. Cursing, name calling, or anything that degrades the moral of a person is considered verbal or emotional abuse. It can affect children or anyone for that matter as words linger to our minds and somehow shape the way we think and behave.
Financial abuse can be traumatic as well. For instance, when one of the family members needs hospitalization, but there’s just nothing to spend. It is frustrating and it can promote resentment in a way. A child might hate the father who is supposed to be the person providing for the family’s needs.
Sexual abuse can also happen when the wife didn’t consent to have intercourse and was forced violently, and somehow, the children are aware. It could be worse when the sexual abuse happens to a daughter, a horrible and unfortunate incident that should lead to divorce and a criminal case at that.
Parental divorce is a challenging experience to go through. Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC once said, “One of the things divorced partners frequently fail to recognize is the importance of the other parent in the kid’s life.” If parents are not trauma-informed, they may assume that what they are going to let their children go through is just another life phase. However, being aware of the consequences and possible effects of a feud or separation in the family, the parents can still protect their children from wrong choices and blinded but rational thoughts of resentment.
Some things cannot be avoided. There are life series that we have to deal with whether we like it or not as a perfect childhood or perfect life is an illusion. It’s a matter of preparation to face the realities of life. As parents, if divorce is imminent, the least we could do is to make sure that our children get the highest help they could have. It determines how they are going to be as an adult, and again, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
Emotional, behavioral, and mental health disorders during childhood can result in permanent problems that might impact the well-being of children, families, and societies. Managing a child’s mental disorders the soonest time possible can assist kids in decreasing their issues at home or in school. It also helps with positive development when they become adults.
An approach towards public health for children’s mental health entails improving mental health for all kids, offering preventive measures to children who are at risk, and offering treatment for kids with identified problems. Psychotherapy is an essential factor in enhancing mental health. Psychotherapy for children can be utilized in conjunction with medication, depending on the severity and type of problems.
Therapy – A Short Overview
Psychological therapy is intended to manage a mental health illness or assist a child in managing his symptoms to function efficiently in school, community, or at home.
When kids are young and carefree, it is typical for management to involve the parents. Oftentimes, therapists, along with other members of the mental health team, work with parents. Older kids can meet and have the treatment with the therapist alone too. Other forms of therapy include dealing with the entire family or other significant people in the child’s life, such as his teacher or guidance counselor.
Parent-centered methods usually indicate that parents discuss the child’s emotions, moods, and behaviors with the therapist. Psychological therapy with kids may include playing, discussing, or doing other activities to assist the child in opening up his thoughts and feelings. Therapists can also study parents and kids together and then provide suggestions for seeking various ways to respond.
Psychotherapy for children can be performed in groups or individually. Occasionally, a blend of treatments and therapies is the most potent for guiding and supporting a child.
Most Effective Forms Of Therapy For Mental Health Illnesses In Children
This type of therapy educates children and their families on how to build healthy child behaviors and get rid of or decrease unpleasant or negative behaviors.
One form is parent training in behavioral management. Therapists work with parents to develop or enhance skills to deal with their child’s emotions, behaviors, and thought patterns. Parents are urged to develop the skills with their kids, both at home and during their therapy sessions. Schoolteachers can also teach behavior management to help children at their school or childcare facility. With young adolescents and children, the therapist typically works with the child directly to educate him on selecting positive behaviors. Parents can participate and support their children in strengthening their skills.
This form of therapy centers on altering the emotions and thought patterns that may adversely impact a child’s behavior. In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the therapist assists the child in becoming conscious of their feelings and thoughts. He also assists the child in assessing if his thoughts or emotions might be unreasonable or biased and then guides the child through the course of altering the thought patterns and the behavioral and emotional responses that accompany them. Cognitive-behavioral therapy frequently involves working directly with a child or adolescent but may also involve the parents.
For the most common childhood diseases, such as behavioral disorders, depression, anxiety, or ADHD, cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior therapy are more likely to reduce indications. However, there is insufficient information regarding which form of therapy is most suitable for managing each specific mental health disorder.
Grounded on the methodical proof available, various therapies appear to work efficiently for different kinds of concerns:
Parent training concerning behavioral management works efficiently for disruptive behavioral disorders and ADHD, while child behavioral therapy also works for ADHD and disruptive behavioral disorders. On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy also works very well for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and disruptive behavioral disorders.
Other forms of therapy can also be effective for young adolescents.
Young adolescents and children diagnosed with depression might react well to interpersonal psychological therapy, a method where the therapist helps kids and adolescents learn strategies for dealing with relationship matters.
Children and adolescents diagnosed with disruptive behavioral disorder might respond efficiently to family therapy, which involves multiple family members and concentrates on learning advanced communication skills and techniques for settling conflicts.
Other types of therapy are also effective, although they have not been investigated sufficiently for experts to comprehend if they are equally effective as well—details about what works perfectly for which type of family is apparently also still insufficient.
The Best Therapy For Children
Therapy is most successful if it matches the needs of each child and their family as well. You may discuss this with your child’s mental health provider as an initial step. Occasionally, health concerns like difficulty breathing, hearing problems, poor sleeping patterns, learning difficulties, and vision abnormalities may result in emotional or behavioral symptoms or perhaps worsen them. The mental health provider might want to look into your child’s health issues before endorsing him to a therapist.
Each family has its own philosophy that involves not just race, sexual orientation, economic position, or gender, but also myths, roles, ideas, and an established family principle that infuses all kinds of treatment. Families have a versatility that permits them to contain the overwhelming concerns and learn approaches that will help find the means to meet the entire family’s needs. However, encouraging families can be difficult and perplexing, as this requires a practitioner to be committed and willing to deal with your anxiety.
In this regard, we will be discussing some dos and don’ts of family therapy.
Do Know Closely The Family’s Individuality. Among the primary things you should do when you start family work is to see how a family identifies itself. A typical error of most social workers is that they look at families through the family’s services or their present living scenario. The perfect means to learn the way a family identifies itself is merely to ask: “Do you think your family is distant or close?” “Can you tell me who you consider family?” You wouldn’t imagine through the answers you get that can assist in informing treatment and allowing you to use informal types of support that can help your family.
Don’t Run After Pandemonium. When you work with families, among the several limitations that are prone to come up is that families tend to pull practitioners into turmoil. It might be even tougher to keep away from the messy environment, particularly when you are visiting the home. The most suitable solution for this is to create a tangible, brief treatment plan containing each family member’s role in the treatment and each member’s treatment objectives.
Do Create A Planned Treatment Regimen. Ensuring that you have a deliberate treatment regimen that contains the treatment objectives could be among the essential keys to having a productive family therapy. This regimen must depict a clinical look: evaluation, diagnosis, objectives, and termination. In the evaluation, you will collect all pertinent data regarding the family. Also, you will designate a mental health diagnosis for the specific patient. Next, you will utilize the evaluation and diagnosis to establish an objective that will help in reducing symptoms in the family or learning coping mechanisms.
Finally, it would help if you talked about the plan’s termination so that you and the family understand that the treatment is not open-ended and will soon end once the objectives are met.
Don’t Belittle Your Own Countertransference. All of us have families, and the truth is that many of us chose to be in the mental health field because of the experiences we go through with our own families. Reflecting on this fact can help create a therapeutic awareness so that you can start to understand your incentives and hardships in giving family therapy. When working with families, it is not often obvious where the limitations of treatment can emerge. As practitioners, such as therapists or social workers, you are inclined to look into families you work with to seek answers to these limitations. But you can also look within yourself to make sure that your own views, experiences, and concepts about families interfere with how you give services.
It is vital to talk about this countertransference with your head or supervisor to dismiss the thought of whether or not your experiences are molding the treatment of the families that you are working with. It is also important to be truthful about how your own family background or experiences inspire your work with these families so that you do not push or destabilize a treatment regimen.
Do Establish A Therapeutic Relationship
Keep in mind the importance of being with a family to start experiencing new means to function. This all happens when you can establish a therapeutic relationship with the main family and its other support networks. The therapeutic relationship will help build a safe environment where each member of the family can practice new abilities and process restrictions to mastering these abilities. A few essential strategies to establish a productive relationship with families include:
Dynamically listening and inquiring for illumination rather than making assumptions.
Being punctual and present in the sessions.
Permitting the family members to speak up during the sessions.
Being versatile with the family’s appointments and schedules.
Don’t Neglect Cultural Impacts
The catchword of the mental health field is cultural sensitivity, and most likely, each class in your batch assumed that it is your principle to apply theory into practice. However, as you deal with families, the traditional lens should become one of your strongest assessment instruments. Considering gender, race, family customs, socioeconomic situation, and religious beliefs will help practitioners better understand the family’s background and state. They must not get stuck on what they assume are cultural barriers. A suitable solution is to perform a cultural evaluation of a family that is more profound than the things you do in your facility.
We usually begin life on a building block known as family. If you’re born into a family or belonged to one through foster care or adoption, the family impacts your personality and what you will become in the future. It is the most vital relationship where you primarily learn and develop values and communicate with others.
When confronted with unpleasant life encounters, you run to your family for comfort and strength. When you feel miserable, you will most probably seek support from members of your family who know you and truly care for you. No matter how it is built, your family impacts almost all areas of your life, from the day you were born up to your last moments.
However, there are unfortunate times when, regardless of the support and comfort pervading within families, something goes awry and destroys at the very core of the family connection. Outside forces are usually the reason for family arguments and conflicts, although it is not uncommon for much stress to happen within the home. This is because no one family, not even the strongest, is free from crisis and struggle. Crises can present in various ways, but overcoming a family crisis is possible with the help and guidance of an experienced and compassionate family counselor.
Crisis In The Family
Family crises affect a transition in the whole unit. It is a critical point where things worsen or get better. They may begin with small arguments and bundle up daily until it progresses into an overwhelming burden of stress. At times, a family crisis may be unforeseen, like a flash of sudden lightning that abruptly hits its members, like disaster, death, or tragedy.
The entire family could also be confronted with a developmental issue. It may be considered a natural occurrence, but a crisis like this may unintentionally lead to stress for all family members. The birth of a new baby, retirement, marriage, or illness are some of the transitions that may affect the family gradually, dramatically, or suddenly. These transitions frequently force the family to adjust to their functions and roles to meet the demands of the new crisis.
Signs Of A Crisis In The Family
The response of every family to crises differs. No matter the nature of the crisis, it almost always produces stress and may interrupt its typical functioning structure. In any crisis, families may discover that their common problem-solving skills and coping strategies do not work. Consequently, family members become anxious, depressed, and susceptible.
Family therapy effectively addresses a range of damaging effects which include:
Family therapy addresses – Constant squabble about who’s right.
Family therapy addresses – Fewer (if not lack) family outings and other quality moments together.
Family therapy addresses – No positive communication among family members
Family therapy addresses – No positive problem-solving skills
Family therapy addresses – Presence of stress symptoms like anxiety, depression, memory gaps, sleep and appetite problems, and disorientation.
Adults in the family are inclined to be affected more than children, although the latter could also present with signs of stress, particularly when they are going through a crisis in the family. Some manifestations may include:
Family therapy addresses – Sleep problems
Family therapy addresses – Strange silence
Family therapy addresses – Hostility
Family therapy addresses – Anxiety and worry over the family crisis
Family therapy addresses – Recklessness
Family Therapy For Overcoming A Crisis
In some circumstances, some families, in their attempts to lessen the effects and increasing tension resulting from the crisis, may seek support from close relatives and friends. So if the family accepts help, then competent mediation by a professional could be more advantageous. Each family may also go through a turning point for success and relive a fresh sense of motivation, protection, and safety that a credible family counselor can offer to resolve the situation. Family therapy aims to keep the family bond stay strong.
committed to addressing matters impacting the mental and emotional health of the family. When a major life change leads to a decline in the family’s mental and emotional states, family therapy is the best way to treat and manage a family crisis.
It is vital to keep in mind that family therapy does not essentially involve blood-related family members. It also includes members who play a constant supportive function in family members living in the same home. With this, when a crisis arises, the reassuring mediation of a family counselor may be necessary to surpass the struggle and for all members to develop and adjust to the changes involved in the crisis. Conversely, a family that permits a crisis to win against them without finding help and resources accessible to them may be caught up in a gamut of events or past experiences that only contribute to the already overbearing stress.
Reformation After A Family Crisis
A family experiencing a challenge that results in a disastrous transition in their life may very well benefit from family therapy. Parents who suffer from a gambling problem or a teen battling depression, or perhaps a child with autism, are a matter that requires individual and focused intervention. However, the struggle has most probably affected the parents, kids, and siblings as well.
For several years, consulting a counselor brought a particular stigma in many circles, frequently believed to be something to be hidden from society. Fortunately, trends change, and now more and more of us don’t feel awkward going to a counselor or therapist seeking help dealing with a gamut of problems and challenges that life confronts us with. It is common and normal because people have accepted that this is a part of life. Individual counseling is not the only solution, though, as family counseling has shown to yield excellent outcomes as well to individuals and families experiencing challenges.
For several years, consulting a counselor brought a particular stigma in many circles, frequently believed to be something to be hidden from society. Fortunately, trends change, and now more and more of us don’t feel awkward going to a counselor or therapist seeking help dealing with a gamut of problems and challenges that life confronts us with. Individual counseling is not the only solution, though, as family counseling has shown to yield excellent outcomes as well.
A family that suffers from a crisis can certainly find family counseling or therapy valuable, as this can guide family members on how to learn to honestly express themselves, improve on the way they communicate with each other, and establish stronger relationships. There are many encounters where families should consider counseling and a lot of benefits to doing so. We will elaborately discuss these benefits here.
When Does Family Counseling Help?
Counseling is beneficial during a family crisis. Nowadays, a crisis can denote several things to various individuals. Oftentimes, families can be chaotic in all aspects. This implies that family members can merely get used to their situations and become unmindful of certain issues, such as anxiety, negative behavioral patterns, and depression.
This may sound tolerable to some, but neglected family matters can potentially damage us and can lead to further issues in the long term if not addressed. One of the most prevalent predicaments that many parents are confronted with but do not usually face head-on is their kid moving forward to college life. This leads to a major transition in the family dynamic, even though the rest of the kids are still staying with them.
This situation is also quite hard for the siblings that are at home. It can lead to a disconnect on most, if not all, family ties and can tremendously impact the mental health of each member of the family. Other events that may elicit a family crisis that can’t be fixed without efficient communication include:
Identifying whether or not your family requires counseling can be daunting. However, when something is not right, and you as a parent feel that you can’t talk it out with the family, then counseling is strongly recommended.
Typical Outcomes Of A Family Crisis
Each person has his own way of coping with a crisis, and others manage it better than the rest. But although you have a normally ‘problematic’ family, there are actually warning signs that could show you when counseling is necessary.
Adults and kids normally have various ways of manifesting their struggles, and being aware of the signs and reacting to them is a great way of managing the situation. Adults usually try to avoid the truth of their dysfunctional family by drowning themselves to work intentionally, always going out for drinks after work, spending more time with their sports or other hobbies so that they have fewer hours at home. Obviously, among the more evident signs are substance abuse and infidelity.
Teenagers are inclined to manage their problems by playing video games to avoid listening to arguments and conflicts with other family members. They are overly focused on their phones, often active on social media, turn to alcohol or drugs, and sleep too little or too much.
Young children are the toughest to perceive when they feel depressed or anxious or going through a dilemma, so observing their overall behavior is recommended. If you notice that they’re more withdrawn than usual and do not join in family conversations, this might be a cause for concern. Conversely, the child expresses how they feel through negative behavior and frequent tantrums. Consult a counselor if your child is clearly starting to behave differently without a certain cause, for example, a physical disease.
Benefits Of Family Counseling To Parents And Children
Family counseling has shown over time to be valuable to families, particularly during an emotional crisis. To note, counseling does not produce 100% positive outcomes. Still, a counselor is committed to helping family members learn how to cope with their problems by utilizing effective techniques through their years of experience.
If you are part of a family suffering from an emotional crisis, you will eventually realize that communication is almost gone between each other, as none of them knows exactly where to start. Though the issues have existed for some time, it can still be hard to address or recognize them. Now the role of the counselor is highly appreciated.
Among the most important assets of the family, counseling is establishing stronger family ties. All families encounter misunderstandings and conflicts, but it may not be difficult to the point where everyone’s heads are clear if a conflict is regular in the family. In family therapy, your feelings towards your family members are corrected and taught new practices that can help strengthen their ideas.
Additionally, family counseling allows open communication while the counselor walks them through how to succeed as they work as a team. Weak family dynamics and unhealthy relationships can also have permanent consequences for young kids. They eventually feel poorly about themselves, and they lose their morale and self-esteem. When parents argue or when they don’t get along, kids may blame themselves for the conflicts or feel distressed for their incapacity to do something to pacify the situation. Ultimately, they will grow up with insecurities and have trouble connecting with other people and having relationships in adulthood.
When all these negative circumstances are resolved through family counseling, it instills a sense of value and pride in each family member. Going through and surpassing conflicts together and beginning to see hope increase both self-confidence and determination.
Benefits Of Family Therapy
Indeed, family therapy helps each member of the family learn significant coping strategies that are emotionally and mentally beneficial. Each of the family members learns how to become better children, parents, friends, neighbors, and lovers.
In my 25 years of existence, I have been asked about my greatest fear a couple of times already. Honestly, I am so fed up with the question that I now have a script on that one. At first, it was all like, “that’s so lame, and I don’t want to answer it” thing. But now, I always feel like I have to tell the world about this fear and anxiety that lingers in me.
Part of my greatest fear is to be alone. I don’t want to even slightly think that I will have to deal with things in life all by myself. I know I would not make it emotionally and mentally. That ideology sticks with me for a long time now, even though I am quite aware that it would never “literally” happen. I mean, I have my and friends, relatives, colleagues, and neighbors, so pretty much the fear of being alone is nearly impossible to take place at the moment.
However, as much as I want to stay confident with my connection with the people around me, things are different when it comes to family relationships. Juggling everything altogether seems a little complicated as family issues affect each member. And when there is an unresolved problem, usually, all ties break loose.
But the issue here is still not the family stress. Instead, it is the separation that haunts me. I know I can’t control things, and I know that uncertainties always catch me on guard, but separation from family members cannot be handled. Thus, everything goes back to the only fear that makes me mentally and emotionally unstable – being left alone.
I don’t entirely need to elaborate on the details of how my family ended up breaking each other’s trust, care, and love for one another. I am too focused on dealing with the aftermath of everything. Right now, there is a mental health struggle called separation anxiety that I need to overcome.
How do I know if I have separation anxiety?
Individuals who experience separation anxiety have heightened anxiety levels and occasionally even manic episodes, particularly when their loved ones are not in sight. Those with this type of illness may be aloof or present with severe sadness or trouble focusing when they are away from family and significant others.
What triggers separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety disorder frequently emerges after a loved one’s death or a major event like moving into other homes. You most probably will develop the disorder if you had this when you were a child.
How do you deal with separation anxiety?
To deal with separation anxiety, consider taking some action such as busying yourself with important and valuable things. YOu can also change your mindset and learn to be more positive. Acknowledge that your emotions may be heightened and that you may feel more negative than positive. You can journal your thoughts and activities daily. Remember that you don’t need to wait for reassurance from others.
What are the three known stages of separation anxiety?
The three stages of separation anxiety include protest, despair, and detachment. The first phase starts the following separation instantly and lasts weeks until the end. It presents through external indications of distress like tantrums, awaiting the return of the parent/s, and crying.
What is the best-recommended treatment for separation anxiety?
Separation anxiety is typically managed with psychotherapy, sometimes complemented with medication. Also called talk therapy, psychotherapy entails reaching out and working with a mental health professional to alleviate anxiety symptoms.
How long can separation anxiety last?
Separation anxiety disorder usually persists for two-three weeks but could emerge from infancy towards toddlerhood up until childhood.
At what age does separation anxiety begin?
Despite the fact that some infants show separation anxiety and object permanence as early as four to five months, most of them develop stronger separation anxiety at approximately nine months. What’s worse with the leave-taking is when your baby gets sick, tired, or hungry.
What is a separation anxiety disorder?
Separation anxiety disorder is made official when symptoms are severe for the developmental age and results in tremendous distress in everyday functioning. These symptoms include excessive and persistent concerns about awaiting or being apart from loved ones or home.
How do you manage bedtime separation anxiety?
Here are several steps on how to deal with bedtime separation anxiety:
Learn a regular calming ritual. This will be relatively easy for children.
Bid your kids goodnight or goodbye when you leave their room.
Reevaluate your day and night schedule. Often, kids don’t have age-appropriate schedules.
It’s totally fine to provide extra encouragement and support at bedtime, although you’ll need to be cautious about presenting new routines.
Does co-sleeping cause separation anxiety?
Bed-sharing has been linked to an increased prevalence of mental health problems generally, but it was also associated with several disorders, including depression and anxiety. Additionally, some parents claim that co-sleeping causes children to become clingy. Still, they believe that when they have a safe and secure foundation and their emotional needs are met, and they eventually grow up healthy and secure.
At what ages is sleep regression?
Sleep regression can happen at just about any age, including 4, 6, 8, and 18 months, even until babies reach two years old. The 12-month sleep regression appears when she is almost one, although some start to regress when they are 10 or 11 months old.
Why is my kid afraid to sleep alone?
All children are scared of sleeping alone at one point in their lives. Most of them who have chronic and anxious sleep behaviors are afraid because a bad routine begins and persists. Conflicts at home, stress at work or school, a scary movie, worries about failing – all these can lead them to an anxious night and a persistent dependency on their parents.
What is sleep anxiety?
Sleep anxiety or phobia causes severe fear and anxiety around the idea of heading to bed. It is also called clinophobia, sleep dread or hypnophobia.
At what age should a kid sleep in his room?
The safest way to co-sleep with your child is to share a room. Your baby can sleep in your bedroom but in her bassinet or crib. Additionally, experts suggest sharing a room with your child until he is at least six months of age and perhaps until he is one.
There is nothing more exhausting and complicated in life than realizing your own mental health struggle. Stress, anxiety, depression, and all other mental condition exist because we are all drawn to perfection. We don’t entirely see the importance of “just living” because we always fear something.
Some situations call for assessing the problem from its roots, but it’s not always healthy to dwell on the details of how it came to be. In Voltaire’s words, “the longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”
When dealing with family problems looking for solutions often only requires directly addressing the issue at hand. Going beyond the current issue and fixating on things we can’t change may be pointless and even detrimental. To develop adaptive problem-solving strategies, individuals can turn to solution-based therapy.
Solution-focused therapy, also known as solution-focused brief therapy (SFBT), prioritizes looking for solutions instead of analyzing the problem. SFBT is different from the conventional forms of psychotherapy, where the past is thoroughly picked apart to address the present and future.
Psychotherapists Steve De Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg developed SFBT in the late 1970s. De Shazer and Berg wanted to discover what people want.
SFBT takes a postmodern approach, where there are no fixed truths. The truth, instead, is presumed to lie in whatever the client presents. With this, the therapist pays close attention to the client’s language. From there, they determine the solution.
In the postmodern view, the client is the expert, not the therapist. The therapist believes that clients already possess the necessary tools and skills to solve their problems at hand. Therefore, the therapist’s job is to help clients reconstruct their stories and see their problems differently. It is also the therapist’s responsibility to help clients try something different if the current strategy isn’t working.
Since SBFT relies on collaboration, the therapist and the client work together in setting goals, formulating solutions, and implementing these. It follows that the therapist should be flexible with the client’s resources when creating a plan. The client’s input is key in the process because clients are more likely to follow through with strategies that they’ve had a part in developing.
If you want to understand the mechanisms of SBFT further and learn how it can benefit families, read the frequently asked questions below.
What is solution-focused family therapy?
Solution-focused family therapy is goal-directed and future-focused. It shows families how not to dwell on the problems but to prioritize creating solutions together. This process mainly involves establishing a common mindset that leaves the past behind. The clients are then tasked to use these difficulties and challenges to develop a solution roadmap they all agree with.
What is the solution-focused brief therapy model?
A solution-focused brief therapy model refers to a goal-oriented model anchored on a person’s present and future life. It leaves behind what happened in the past. The therapist uses a model that helps the clients develop a vision and goal for the future. They support this goal by assisting the patients in co-constructing skills, abilities, and resources that will enable them to reach their vision.
What are the benefits of solution-focused therapy?
Solution-focused therapy is beneficial in many aspects. For one, this lets you draft measurable short- and long-term goals, which serve as your primary directive. This therapy aims to encourage you to capitalize on your strengths to achieve your goals. This therapy also allows you to know yourself best. Aside from reassessing what happened in the past, you also get to establish your identity by articulating properly what your vision is.
What are the three rules of solution-focused treatment?
The central philosophy of solution-focused treatment revolves around three rules:
If it’s not broken, do not fix it.
Once you have pinpointed what works for you, do more of it.
If you’ve observed that something does not work, do not do it again; instead, do something different.
How do you implement solution-focused therapy?
In this type of therapy, it is necessary to determine the patient’s goal from the sessions and how it would affect them once they solve these problems. After setting up a measurable goal, they can work hand-in-hand to find the best solution.
One strategy is to determine the client’s behavioral pattern in the past and come up with methods to stray away from it. Then, the therapist guides the patient in reinforcing the positive qualities so that every solution will anchor on these strengths.
How long is solution-focused therapy?
Solution-focused therapy is relatively shorter as compared to other types of therapy because of its goal-oriented nature. This intervention only needs around four to five sessions, which typically last for 45 minutes each. Once a particular issue has been solved, then the client and the therapist can close that chapter. With this, we can say that solution-focused therapy is less time-consuming than usual behavioral therapies.
Is Solution Focused Therapy Effective?
Yes, it is effective, given that solution-focused therapy works towards crafting solutions. It’s even mostly recommended to older children and teens since they’re more willing to collaborate with their therapists in reaching their set goals. However, individuals with complicated emotional difficulties may find this treatment challenging and ineffective.
Experts recommend that these people go through long-term therapy rather than solution-focused therapy.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of solution-focused therapy?
The primary strength of solution-focused therapy is that it is measurable. After the goal-setting process, your progress can be measured by how near or far you are from your established vision. Your therapist also gives you tasks that are realistic, consistent, and manageable.
One weakness that this treatment type has is that it does not address the problems’ root cause. Since it rarely looks back into the past and deep dive into the details, the drafted solutions only serve as band-aid solutions.
How do you focus on a solution at work?
First, develop a beginner’s mindset even if you’re in the field for a long time. Having a fresh mind can help you eliminate the biases you gained throughout your experience at work. These inclinations may tend to blind you from the creative ideas that are lingering around you.
Every surprising solution comes from a beginner’s point of view. Once you have erased all biases, break down all your work problems and set your goal for each one. If something’s working, replicate it; but if it’s not effective, then do something else.
What is an exception question in Solution Focused Therapy?
Exception questions give the clients the chance to determine the circumstances when it has been different for them. Some examples of this include:
Describe the last time you felt that you had a better day compared to the rest.
Can you think of the times when you don’t feel sad or angry?
Tell me about the time when you thought you had no problem in your life and felt the happiest?
What is a solution-based approach?
A solution-based approach highlights the act of searching for solutions instead of dwelling on problems. In short, it is a strengths-based strategy. Patients set aside all the resources they can find and utilize this to solve the issues that are bothering them. It’s in pursuit of a purposeful and positive quick change.
What is the role of the client in solution-focused therapy?
The role of the client is to be the expert in their lives. They will serve as the architect in building their paths. They will be the ones who will decide which factors are small, achievable, relevant, and complicated.
What is the difference between solution-focused therapy and narrative therapy?
Narrative therapy focuses on the stories that each individual carries throughout their lives. They give meaning to the personal journey they have experienced in the past or the influence that others gave them. These things serve as their anchor on how they see themselves and the world around them.
On the other hand, solution-focused therapy does not dwell on what has happened but focuses more on how they will solve their current problems and achieve their vision.
Families can be dysfunctional when they don’t employ proper problem-solving techniques. It’s common for family members to fixate whose fault it is or what could have gone differently. Past issues may be brought up and may hinder resolving the current problem.
Solution-focused therapy is effective, especially for individuals with relationship problems such as in families. Just like any other therapy, however, SFBT isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. SFBT is limited to addressing the present problem and not issues from the past. Because of this, SFBT may not be suitable for those experiencing severe mental health disorders that need extensive programs for their root causes to be addressed.
Despite SFBT’s limitations, multiple studies have provided empirical evidence for its efficacy. In particular, meta-analyses have shown that SFBT’s effectiveness is equivalent to other evidence-based approaches. Some studies produced significant results in less time and at less cost. A cost-effective program available can be beneficial, particularly for families who lack financial resources or insurance coverage.
Implementing solution-focused therapies was successful among families with members who suffer from abuse disorders, drinking problems, childhood behavioral problems, etc. This approach may be a considerable shift from conventional psychotherapies. Still, it has proven its capacity to reconcile and restore relationships.
If you are currently experiencing family problems, know that things can get better and that recovery is possible. Contact your local mental healthcare provider further to discuss the available solution-focused programs or other alternative methods.
Have you ever thought about how different your life would be if your parents did everything in another way? Have you ever considered some of their decisions inappropriate given in any situation? Have you thought about their options back then that was supposed to change everyone’s lives? The answers to these questions can link you back to childhood. Childhood is your life’s most crucial phase. It is where your experiences mold you to face everything in your life. That includes your responsibility to your children (if you plan to have kids or already have one).
It is essential to note that everything you do regarding parenting comes from your own experience as a child. That explains why you tend to pass on life lessons from your parents to your kids. Basically, that is the cycle of life. However, there are instances that your childhood is not typically helpful in future parenting. Perhaps there are some things you experienced in life that is not worth sharing for. There could be some incidents that limit you to do the right thing. Honestly, you have your reasons. But for the sake of the family relationship and mental health discussion, let’s talk about that.
Abuse During Childhood
Any type of abuse during childhood is detrimental to anyone’s mental and emotional health. If you are one of those who experience some of it during your younger days, there is a tendency that the way you perceive things can be unconstructive. As a result of child abuse, you begin to compare their achievements to yours. In some instances, you become so damaged that you want your children to experience the same pain you experienced from your parents. You want your kids to feel devastated so that you can validate your mental and emotional trauma. But that is not often the case. Sometimes, instead of intentionally hurting your children, you tend to act the other way. You have this urge never to allow your kids to experience any abuse you have experienced during your younger days. You become overprotective that you carry it out to an obsession. That links to stalking and getting abnormally involved in your kids’ lives, which often leads to a significant lack of trust. Sometimes, it also ends up impossible and unresolved hate between you and your children.
The Lack Of Being In Control
Experiencing a lack of control when it comes to life decisions often leads to your mental and emotional breakdown. Though many people do not often see it that way, the experience from childhood can make you feel helpless and depressed. In some cases, it makes you turn to power. That explains your eagerness to control things whenever you can because you cannot do that when you were a kid. It was a psychological cycle that pretty much impossible to break. Maybe because that is a solitary way to can make you feel normal, you think that for you to be able to function differently, you need to become the abuser. And the only possible victims that can consider and think differently of that dysfunctional behavior are your children. You are confident to use your “parent” card because you know your kids will somehow understand. That being said, you feel safe in controlling your kids because your actions are justified.
Receiving Harsh Reactions As A Kid
The idea of openly telling yourself that your experience as a child is different from your kids is well-accepted. Of course, things back then were different, and your kids probably understand how complicated it was for you to deal with things manually. Thus, if you experience harsh reactions from your parents’ way before, it could impact your parenting. But the good thing is, you have two options. You either follow your parents’ style of harsh parenting, or you don’t. But when you see yourself shutting down your kids’ emotions, such as telling them that they should not be upset for little reasons, it is a sign that you are doing what your parents did to you. Thus, the tendency of sharing the same reaction as your parents will become your involuntary trait when handling your kids.
Apparently, the result of most childhood experiences runs in a loop. It is where you experience something good and bad in life that you somehow feel the need to repeat the cycle. However, it is a dangerous mental integration because not all childhood experiences are helpful in adulthood, especially in abuse and maltreatment cases. However, as mentioned earlier, two things can still happen. It is either you allow the repetition of bad childhood experience to your kids, or you choose better and aspire to become a better parent. If in case you prefer the latter, always remember not to overdo it. Try to become a better parent with compassion and selfless love.
Of course, I blamed myself at first. I mean, what happened? Why does my only son have these disorders? I look back from six years ago and think deeply. Did I smoke when I was pregnant with him? I sure as heck stopped wine when I learned I was pregnant. And yeah, no smoking either. I’m pretty sure that I had almost perfect health back then except for a terrible cough when I was in the 8th month, but my OB prescribed me cephalexin. It’s safe for pregnant women.
Genes And Environmental Factors Can Affect ASD/ADHD Development In Kids
My eyes had tears in them as I asked the doctor, “Why does he have this, doc?” He told me with an as a matter-of-fact tone, “Genetics can play a big role in this disorder development on your child. The environment is also an issue. Do you have a history of autism or ADHD in your family?”
I said NO, we don’t have those disorders. As for the environmental cause, well, as I said – no smoking, no drinking, no bad thing that happened to me back then, and our home was well-kept.
“How about your husband’s family?” And there, I think, I heard a DING-DING-DING inside my head! His cousin has low-functioning autism. My husband’s aunt has Asperger’s. I’m pretty sure his dad was depressed, but not diagnosed. His cousin has Bipolar Disorder and well, the list goes on. Now, I know the answer. Genetics. My husband is the reason why my son has these disorders.
It’s not his fault that his genes are built that way, and so I cannot entirely blame him for something he cannot control. Right now, what we had to do was stick together, have a treatment program or therapy plan for our son, and support him all the way. That’s all we can do. And yes, pray that everything will be alright in the end.
Treatment Programs For Children With ASD And ADHD
“When people think about attention deficit disorder (ADHD), they usually consider it a childhood problem. However, a large proportion — between 30 and 70 percent — of children with the condition remain affected throughout adulthood.” Ben Martin, Psy.D said. But there were three programs recommended by the neurodevelopment pediatrician for my son – Occupational Therapy and Counseling, Speech Therapy, and Educational Therapy. He was delayed at least a year on all of his skills, and the doctor even mentioned medication use. My husband denied the last one and said that if his hyperactivity will ever be extreme, then that’s the time we’ll use prescription drugs.
Kids can learn how to manage their ASD and ADHD symptoms through occupational therapy. Here they will be able to enhance their various skills – cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills. As for my son, during his OT sessions, he was given eight rules always to remember:
Sit on the chair.
Hands-on the table.
Eyes in front or on the teacher.
Shut your mouth and no talking to others when in class.
Listen attentively to the teacher.
Finish your work.
No hitting your head.
No slapping, grabbing, and pushing others.
If he were to deviate from the rules, my son was given an X-mark which he doesn’t like. This forced him to curb some of his unintentional misbehaviors. (If you need online assistance on this, BetterHelp is your best choice.) Dr. Chantal Gagnon Ph.D. LMHC “Therapy can be adapted to meet a variety of individual needs and goals.” I believe that.
He was taught how to speak his mind with articulation, and how to start and end a sentence correctly. The therapist helped him how to be vocal about his feelings and emotions. It was a big help for my son.
At six years old, my son couldn’t read at his level. His writing ability was that of a four-year-old, and he is just so non-compliant when it comes to reading and writing. Educational therapy has helped him with reading and comprehension, and practice on his penmanship, among other intervention methods.
I also tried reaching out to BetterHelp, an online platform that is committed to assisting mothers like me in dealing with their children’s mental health issues, including ASD and ADHD. I read great reviews about their counselors before I considered signing up. If you’re in the same situation as I am today, why don’t you try it out yourself?
It’s tough to have a son with a disorder. If only I could take it away from him and put it on me, I would do it. But it’s not that simple. Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC reminds us all to “Target the most pressing problems. Avoid trying to fix too many things. You will get bogged down that way.” These disorders will be for my son to bear forever and I will do everything I can to support him and assist him all the way. I mean, what else can I do, right?
The primary reason why you are seeing a therapist is that you want to confide in someone. You are probably looking for a professional who could help you deal with a personal problem or dilemma. However, unfortunate events can happen such as meeting a therapist who is adding more stress to your life. We know that this kind of experience can be frustrating. You may end up becoming more problematic than ever.