Are You Struggling In Your Role as a Parent?
Has your dream of having a peaceful, harmonious family life turned out to be an illusion replaced by the reality of daily conflict and stress? Do you find yourself locked in battles with your child over things that are supposed to be routine, such as doing homework, following house rules or staying safe? Do you find that the frustration you feel when faced with defiance, willfulness, aggression or sibling conflict is depleting your own patience and ability to respond calmly? You may feel rejected by your child and replaced by their peers. Or perhaps you are worried that the behaviours you are seeing in your child or teenager are a sign of deeper trouble, like depression, low self-esteem, anxiety or trauma. Alternately, you may be a parent of a young adult who seems stuck and unable to move forward with their lives due to mental health problems or addictions. Do you wish you knew how to communicate, connect with and support your child in healthy way?
Raising Kids Was Not Supposed to Be This Hard!
As a parent you probably try to give your children more than you ever received yourself as a child. It is reasonable to expect that all this love and effort you put into parenting would help your child become happy, confident and successful. So, it is heartbreaking and confusing when you see your child struggling. It may even lead you to question your competency as a parent. You want your child to achieve their full potential. You wish they could get along with peers without giving in to peer pressure. You do everything you can for your child, but it may feel like nothing you try brings you any closer to your child. Sometimes the feelings of frustration and helplessness of not being able to help your child can undermine your ability to parent as a team, and you may find that you and your partner have begun to blame each other for your child’s behavioural problems. This parental conflict threatens to push the entire family into further turmoil and instability.
Today’s Families Struggle More Than Ever
The parenting sections of book stores and libraries are full of books offering advice on raising strong, emotionally resilient children. Yet, the pressures on modern family in our culture seem to work against the best efforts of caring parents who are trying hard to do the right thing.
And so we are seeing more children, adolescents and young adults who are sidelined by behaviour problems, difficulties with learning and motivation, emotional problems, eating disorders, substance use problems, self-harm and a host of other obstacles on their path to maturity.
Because the stakes are so high, it makes sense to invest time and energy in deepening your understanding of your child and strengthening the positive connections between family members. With family counselling at my office in Montreal West Island you can acquire insights and tools that can help you bring peace back into your family.
Family Counselling Can Help You and Your Child Find Healing and Growth
Your child needs you, even if they give the impression that your presence in their life is annoying, unwanted or perhaps even useless. They are stuck in behaviours and habits that don’t bring them happiness and need you to help them break out of self-defeating patterns. Family counselling can give you practical strategies tailored to you and your child’s needs so you can help them find relief and bring joy back into their lives.
I have been helping families respond to child behaviour and parenting issues for more than 20 years. In addition to supporting families in my private practice, I have worked at a children’s mental health clinic, a residential program for teens and an out-patient treatment center for adolescents with substance abuse problems.
My approach to family counselling is based on extensive training, experience and the latest discoveries in developmental psychology and pathways to maturation. During our sessions, I help you gain parenting insights and skills so you and your child can develop a closer connection. Science is confirming what parents have always known in their hearts: that our ability to hold on to our kids in a loving connection gives us the power to parent, to guide, to influence and to heal.
You can change the “dance” between you and your child and give them the tools and support they need to thrive! Watch the difference it makes for the entire family when your child starts learning to manage strong emotions like anger, frustration, grief, rejection. Watch them adapt successfully to new situations, learn from mistakes and recover from trauma. With family counselling at my office in Pointe Claire, you can feel the satisfaction of seeing your child succeed.
I believe my family could benefit from family counselling, but I still have questions and concerns about therapy...
Kids go through stages and then grow out of them. Shouldn’t we just wait for them to mature?
It is true that most kids grow out of their difficult behaviours. However, some become stuck, and the longer they remain mired in their problems the more likely they are to suffer damage to their self-esteem and motivation. Also, some common childhood problems, like fears or temper outbursts, may get more severe over time. And, if your child’s behaviour or attitude is affecting other family members, it may result in them becoming alienated from the rest of the family and thus losing the most important resource and support system they will ever have. A timely intervention with the help of family counselling can prevent problems from escalating.
My adolescent refuses to get help and made it clear that family counselling is “stupid”
This is very typical adolescent thinking. However, you know better. If your current strategies for helping your teen have not been working it is time for “re-tooling.” Family counselling will help you step out of destructive or unhealthy patterns of interacting with your child and find new, more effective ways of communicating. Many teens become curious and intrigued by the changes they notice and will often take a more active role in counselling when they feel more secure and less worried about being blamed. But, even if they continue resisting, when you take steps to change yourself, your adolescent will change as well.
I’ve been reading books on parenting since my children were babies. The more I read the more overwhelmed and confused I feel. Will family counselling add another “expert” telling me how to raise my children?
It is true that there is a lot of conflicting advice for parents coming from different sources. It is also true that previous generations did not consult professionals on how to raise their children. Ideally, you will be able to rely on your instincts and intuition to guide your children through the ups and downs of growing up. However, our children are growing up in a world full of stressors that previous generations did not have to deal with. This is why when your child is struggling it can be helpful to consult with a family counsellor. I will take the time to understand the unique situation your family is facing and help you develop a step-by-step plan for overcoming the difficulties.
You Are Your Child’s Greatest Resource!
Are you ready to heal and grow together as a family? I invite you to call me at 514-697-7472 for a free phone consultation to discuss your family’s issues and answer questions you may have about family counselling and my practice.
For more than 20 years I have been helping adults, teens, couples and families find pathways to more satisfying lives. I will listen to you with compassion and help you see possibilities for recovery and growth where you see none. Together, we can quickly but systematically discover and remove obstacles that are holding you back from living the life you were meant to live.