Questions and Answers

What are the benefits of therapy?

Studies show that adolescents involved in individual or family therapy are less likely to be involved in drugs or use alcohol, less like to have early (before age 18) pregnancies. They generally receive higher grades and are more likely to attend college. In addition, they are less likely to show psychological disturbances such as depression, mania or psychosis.

How long will therapy take?

Therapy duration depends on the issues presented, the willingness of family members to work, and the frequency with which the family or adolescent attends therapy. Some problems, such as trouble performing chores, may be resolved in four to six weeks, while more emotionally-laden issues, such as blended families, may take 12 weeks or more to work out.

Can you fix my child?

No, I cannot fix your child or magically move him/her through adolescence to adulthood overnight. However, I can make the process of bringing your teenager to adulthood a much less trying experience for you and your family. I can help you work more together instead of at odds. I will assist you in communicating your basic needs and expectations to your children, and most important, I will help you let your children know how much you love them.

What methods do you use when approaching problems?

When dealing with a more behavior-related problem, such as noncompliance with chores or school refusal, I usually look at the rewards and consequences in place for the unwanted behavior. Are consequences enforced consistently, and what possible hidden rewards are there for unwanted behavior? I work with each family's individual issues to try to eliminate what is maintaining the unwanted behavior and promote more desirable behavior.

For blended family issues, I look at the systems in the family. Are the parents working together as a team? Is it clear that the parents have the power in the family? For these types of problems, I try to help a family arrive at a new definition of itself that is comfortable for all members.


Resources

Books

Are arguments between your teens driving you crazy? Siblings Without Rivalry by Adele Faber is an easy read and fantastically helpful.

Having trouble talking to your teens? How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, also by Adele Faber is equally easy to read and is full of ways to avoid arguments, get your point across, and generate a better spirit in your household.

Seven Principles Of Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. A scientific look at factors that contribute to divorce as well as lead to a satisfying marriage, and how you can avoid the first and build the second.

Articles

Recent Research on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: New York Times: Talk Therapy Pivotal for Depressed Youth


Other Counselors

Mary Cannon

Located in San Jose, Mary is insight-oriented and works with individuals, families and chlidren.
www.marycannon.com

Bonny Bernell

Working out of Santa Clara and Los Altos, Bonnie specializes in couples and 'generous women'. She works with groups, individuals and families.
www.bonniebernell.com

Susan Owicki

With an office in Palo Alto, Susan specializes in grief work and women's issues.
www.owickimft.com