By Naami Resnick, MS, LGPC, NCC
When it comes to the stigma of acknowledging and discussing mental health, we’ve come a long way. Movies and shows reference therapy and the therapist office has become a common sight on screen to many. Jokes and anecdotes about therapy are common on social media and seem to have fully made their way into the mainstream. However, there are still barriers to therapy that often keep folks from accessing the help they need.
One of those obstacles is finding the right therapist with the right specialty at the right time. There are many different kinds of therapists and different kinds of therapies – a simple google search can bring up hundreds of names and numbers. So, when you are faced with options, how do you know what kind of therapy is right for you and your family?
Parenting can be complex at the best of times, and as it stands, we are living in an era of heightened uncertainty and stress. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming and challenging to know where to begin. Should I find therapy for my son whose academic performance has dipped drastically? Would it be better to seek support for my daughter, who hasn’t been herself lately and has been losing her temper at her siblings? Or what about my spouse, who has been spending a lot of time in bed? What about me?
In times like these, family therapy can be an excellent option. Gathering all the family members together in one room, with a trained therapist, can open communication and strengthen connection. Sometimes, it’s simply a place to process transitions. A family is a system, with each individual making up the whole. When one individual changes, it can affect the whole system. And because it can be difficult to make time during the rush of a family’s routine, therapy is an opportunity for the family to intentionally come together, hear each other, and reconnect.
Additionally, family therapy offers opportunities for individual issues to come to the surface. Once your son feels heard, he may be able to share about what challenges are affecting him academically and he can then be paired with an individual therapist. It’s often hard to get to the root of an issue when the whole family system feels shaky. Once the foundation is strengthened, it’s easier to support the individuals with getting the help they need.
Naami Resnick, MS, LGPC, NCC
Because children don’t come with an instruction manual, Jewish Community Services offers a variety of programs, services, and supports for parents and families with children of all ages. Learn more at jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.