Family therapy presents a powerful opportunity to foster positive change not only within one's family system, but also within oneself.
Extensive research into developmental theories (including attachment theory) reveals the importance of the first decade of life on forming a sense of self and how to relate to others. What we learn in these years continues throughout life. The family environment is a central part in how these dynamics form.
Family therapy presents opportunities to heal attachment ruptures as well as develop stronger sense of self through improving the quality of interpersonal relationship and shifting one's functional role in the family system.
My approach to family therapy is rooted in Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT), Schema Therapy (ST), and Bowen Family Systems Therapy (BFST).
ABFT is an evidence-based therapy that addresses problematic parent-child relationship dynamics that contribute to adolescent and young adult "internalizing disorders" (e.g., depression, suicide, trauma, anxiety). ABFT emerged from interpersonal theories and "is a trust-based, emotion-focused psychotherapy model that aims to repair interpersonal ruptures and rebuild an emotionally protective, secure-based parent–child relationship."
ST is an evidence-based therapy that addresses how early maladaptive schemas (problematic life patterns) and modes (behavior that emerges when schemas are triggered) lead to conflict in marital and other family relationships. By addressing "mode clashes" and underlying unmet core needs that contribute to schemas and modes, family members can reduce conflict and improve the quality of their relationships.
BFST views the family as an emotional unit in which the behavior and functioning of any one member cannot be viewed in isolation from the rest of the unit (and each of its members). Only when each family member can own his or her part of the family problem can true progress be made. The work of therapy involves examining the impact of complex interlocking family relationships (including emotional triangles), managing one's emotional reactivity in charged relationships, and developing a stronger sense of self.
I am an ABFT trained therapist currently working toward full certification at the ABFT Training Program at Drexel University.
I completed 4 years of advanced clinical training in Family Systems Theory and Psychotherapy at The Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Georgetown.