Because the process of separation and divorce leads to the end of a nuclear family, family therapy for divorcing families strikes many as an oxymoron. What would be the purpose of helping a family communicate and function better if the family is ending? But while loss and endings are inherent in separation and divorce, the process is also one in which families families reorganize, establish new patterns of relating, and find new roles and tasks for individual family members. Family therapy can be a powerful tool for families to attend to these tasks. [Read more…]
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
As the incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) have exploded in the last 15 years, much progress has been made in understanding this complex developmental syndrome. People with ASDS are now recognized as a diverse group with a variety of diagnoses who vary widely in abilities and functioning levels. The defining features of those on “the spectrum” include difficulty with social skills and problems with reciprocal communication. People with ASDs may also engage in excessive rituals, have difficulty regulating their impulses, or display intense and focused interests. Many people with ASDs are either oversensitive or undersensitive to stimuli such as touch or sound. Some have particular talents, or “splinter skills”, and most are good visual learners. [Read more…]
Parents who seek therapy for their child or adolescent usually have serious concerns. Their child may be exhibiting moodiness, oppositional behaviors, poor social skills, or signs of experimenting with substances. Parents know that these concerns can significantly impact a child’s life and future development. By the time they begin the search for therapy services, parents may have tried several methods of remedy, and may already have consulted with a professional such as a pediatrician or school counselor for guidance.
Many children and adolescents who present for mental health services experience difficulties in their peer relationships. They may encounter problems making and keeping friends, have trouble noticing social cues, or have a hard time expressing themselves. Both individual and family therapy can assist children and teens to gain skills for navigating their interpersonal environments. Therapists may help kids to develop their social skills via a number of methods: [Read more…]
Stepfamilies, here defined as a union that includes at least one child, a biological or adoptive parent, and a new partner, face many distinctive challenges. Unlike first marriages, most stepfamilies form in the wake of losses such as divorce or death. The structure of a stepfamily, as distinct from first marriages, typically includes “insider-outsider” coalitions; children and their biological or adoptive parent nearly always have stronger ties than those between stepparents and stepchildren. Many children feel threatened by arrival of a stepparent. Unlike most couples in first marriages, couples in stepfamilies do not have opportunities to develop their relationship before raising children; at the same time, raising children is usually more complex because the stepparent’s role in parenting is usually initially unclear. When stepfamilies form in the wake of of divorce, there is nearly always “another household” to contend with that can threaten the integrity of the stepfamily unit. [Read more…]