Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA - Boulder Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in person, via skype, or by phone. Please email or call (303) 875-5046

Boulder Family Therapy & Teen Counseling

A family is a very elaborate and complex system. One of the main reasons for this is that parents unavoidably bring their families of origin with them to the new family they create. Unconscious feelings, beliefs and behaviors get played out with a new cast of characters in the next generation. Children, especially teens, will reflect back to their parents a lot of what is felt and believed as well as what is not working well in the family. They are, in a manner of speaking, “the canaries in the coal mine” of a family.

If parents are willing to consider what is going on and what it is that they may bring from their histories to the marriage and to the new family, there are untold opportunities for understanding and growth. If this is not possible due to shame, denial or some form of obstruction, then, unfortunately, the difficulties in the family usually escalate. Relationships, especially those with teens, can become strained, trust and safety can diminish and with increased stress, families can become disorganized and/or fail to cohere.

Each member of a family has something precious to teach as well as learn from every other family member. The role of the family therapist, in counseling the family, is to find a way to facilitate deeper understanding amongst family members. How this looks and feels is different for each family depending of the issues at hand and the personalities of its members. Each family has a unique way of working things out with one another. It is the job of the therapist to figure out how this process can best be set in motion to suit each family so that they can grow and thrive. This is the aim of family counseling.

When a commitment is made by the parents to work things out with one another and other family members, awareness develops, cooperation grows and the family is able to thrive. Once the family members learn how to do this in family counseling, they are then able to do this for themselves. This leads to an increase in self esteem all around as the family is able to function better through use of more and more skill learned in counseling and subsequently feel less stress and more joy. Please call my Boulder office if you would like to talk about family matters.

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