The goal of family mediation or family therapy is to facilitate family members to communicate with each other in a way that is heard and understood. Misunderstanding each other, jumping to the wrong conclusion or refusing to accept difference causes conflict and if issues of conflict are not resolved peacefully, they can lead to arguments and resentment and family breakdown. Conflict occurs when family members’ different opinions, views or beliefs are presented in a way that cause a clash. Ongoing conflict can be stressful and damaging to relationships and some people find it difficult to manage their feelings and become intentionally hurtful, aggressive or even violent. This comes about when differences are not communicated in a way that others can hear, understand and accept. My role as a therapist is to ensure that each family member's view is being heard in the way that was intended.
Initially, sessions will take place with individual family members, or groups of family members if the therapy involves extended family. These individual sessions are an opportunity for each family member to share their unique experience of the family dynamic, talk about how the dynamic effects them personally and explore what changes and communications they feel would help them to reconnect to the family specifically and allow the family to work better generally.
These sessions also include discussion about what a family member may want to communicate to another family member or members during a family session, which can also involve some coaching about how best to frame these views and opinions in ways that allow other family members to receive them without becoming defensive or getting trapped in old patterns.
Family sessions will then take place where the aim is that the family can come back together to discuss the issues and difficulties in a different and more productive manner and reach some new understandings and set goals and make agreements that are able to be worked upon and adhered to in between sessions. My role in these sessions is to observe interactions between family members, as well as observing non-interactions of family members, so that each person gets a chance to be heard. In situations where family members get into an argument in a session, I will seek to contain and mediate the session and remind individual members of their commitments made during one-to-one sessions. The desired outcome is that individual family members are able to experience each other differently and the family as a whole starts to build confidence in its ability to interact in new, more healthy ways that in turn allow the family unit to become a better place for all its members.
I have published a paper on family therapy (Marc Medina 2010). Click here to view.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss further and to arrange an initial consultation.
Fees: £120 per session.