An integral part of your child's optimal and collaborative therapy is the parent/caregiver and family system. We welcome communication and collaboration with you.
In Play Therapy and Activity Therapy with Kelly Martin, LPC
Kelly will schedule frequent parent consultations with the parent/caregiver to provide updates about the progress of treatment goals and to exchange information.
Kelly also provide parent coaching in the form of parent/child relationship therapy. This type of session provides parents with the opportunity to learn or refine specific skills such as reflecting feelings, setting limits, and understanding basic developmental tendencies in order to enhance the parent child relationship and increase cooperation and well-being.
Kelly also provides workshops or trainings to parents/caregivers on topics such as parenting, child/parent relationship, or discipline.
In Adolescent/Young Adult Counseling with Kayli Cross, LMFT, LCDC
Kayli's approach in treating families is that the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. In every family, each person plays a role. In a family with healthy communication, those roles are fluid and members are allowed to move in and out of them based on the their need. A simple example - a mom who works part time and stays at home with her kids the other days of the week has two roles she is playing - primary caregiver and working professional. In a healthy family, her husband or other supportive family members would allow her to play both roles. Maybe her husband picks the kids up from school and makes dinner the days that she works, so that her focus can be on what she loves doing professionally. While it is a simple example, it shows that it takes flexibility and a willingness to change in order to have functional roles.
In a dysfunctional system, roles are rigid. Oftentimes this happens because there is an illness or issue of some kind that has taken over - an “elephant in the room” so to speak - and family members have communicated to each other that it is not acceptable to move out of the role they’ve been placed in. In a family where alcoholism/addiction is present, roles may look something like this: Addict/Alcoholic, Codependent, Hero, Mascot, Scapegoat, or Lost Child. The Addict’s and Codependent’s behavior communicates to the other family members that their lives now center around the addiction or work to avoid acknowledging it at all costs. So other family members use these roles to protect themselves: the Hero makes all A’s in school and takes care of her other siblings, the Mascot makes light of difficult situations to make him/herself feel better, the Lost Child escapes into the corner as to not be noticed or cause any more problems, the Scapegoat always takes the blame.
Kayli's goal is to help an individual recognize the real issue, the role they are playing and if it is rigid or fluid, and then how we can involve their family/circle of influence in order to help them reach and sustain lasting change.
When working with an adolescent or young adult, making these changes is asking a lot of the family. Parents must acknowledge the role they have played in the dysfunction, if they want to get the most that they can out of therapy. For a young person who is still so closely tied to their family of origin, it is near impossible to make those lasting changes if the parents/caregiver are not on board, unless the individual completely separates themselves from that system and learns to engage in a healthy one.
Oftentimes, it really does take a village! When an individual or family can move beyond the stigma of sharing their secrets and learn to practice vulnerability and honesty with themselves and with each other, they will find there is much room for hope and for a different way of life if that is what they are seeking. Kayli's goal is to be one person they can utilize to make those changes happen.
Our therapists also work to involve as many effective community resources as possible. A step beyond the family system is the community in which they are involved. People, places and things so to speak. If a family is lacking in this area or doesn’t know what is available to them, we work to help them build the kind of community they need in order to support the changes they are making.