All in the Family – When Family Counseling is a Good Idea

when is family counseling a good idea?

Family counseling is a form of therapy that is optimized to address specific issues that affect the health and function of a family. It is especially useful when a mental illness or behavioral problem is occurring in a family member who is a teen or young adult. Sometimes such issues cannot be successfully addressed without understanding the dynamics of the entire family unit.

Are There Different Types of Family Counseling?

Family counseling employs techniques and exercises that are also used in other kinds of therapy – behavior therapy, cognitive therapy, individual therapy, and interpersonal therapy. The strategies employed will depend on the specific issues the young person and the family present with.

What is Meant by the Term “Family”?

It should be noted that in family counseling, the term “family” does not necessarily mean that only blood relatives are included in the counseling sessions. In terms of getting the best help, “family” is anyone who is playing a long-term supportive role in the individual’s life.

What Training Does a Family Counselor Have?

Because families are highly complex units that differ greatly, a family counselor is called upon to assume many different roles. Because of the high stakes involved, a family therapist is required to have undergone the right kind of education, and extensive training and testing to ensure that the therapist is up to the task and does not cause more harm than good. To counsel families, therapists must know how to:

  • Understand interactions within the family unit.
  • Evaluate and resolve relationship issues.
  • Diagnose and treat psychological disorders within the context of a family.
  • Guide clients through transitional crises, e.g., divorce or bereavement.
  • Teach replacement of dysfunctional behavior patterns with healthy alternatives.
  • Take a holistic approach to wellness.

What Does Family Therapy Aim to Achieve?

The goal of family therapy is to work together to heal any behavioral, mental, emotional, or psychological issues that are disrupting the family unit. The aim is to produce a healthier family environment for all family members by improving understanding and communication to help solve family problems. While individual counseling concentrates on working with one individual, the family counselor views problems in the context of the “system” of the family. To solve a problem in a system, all parts of the system must be considered.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapy-types/family-systems-therapy

What are the Benefits of Family Therapy?

The benefits of family therapy are many, and include:

  • A better understanding of family patterns, dynamics and healthy boundaries.
  • Deeper empathy, enhanced communication skills, and improved problem solving.
  • Better anger management skills and reduced conflict.
  • Bringing the family closer together after a crisis.
  • Creating honesty and instilling trust between family members.
  • Reducing sources of tension and stress and developing a more supportive family environment.
  • Resolving conflicts between family members and helping them forgive each other.
  • Bringing members who have been isolated back into the family fold.

A Take Home Message

Family counseling can help you and your family learn how to effectively communicate with each other, work together to solve family problems, and build and maintain healthy family relationships. This type of therapy is unique in that problems are viewed through a broad lens and as part of the complex system that is the family. This perspective allows family counselors to help families get to the root of their problems and facilitates healing for everyone involved.

“Why family therapy…because it deals with family pain.”
Virginia Satir, a key figure in the development of family therapy.

Family Counseling in Phoenix

It’s important to understand that an individual family member’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist in the context of the family and will likely need to be addressed within that context. At Doorways, we help families who are experiencing problems relating to a family member aged 13-25. Our trained family counselors help troubled families to learn how to better communicate with each other in a nonjudgmental, caring, atmosphere. So, if you need help for your family, please reach out to us and schedule an initial no-charge consultation. There is help for your family!

Eating Disorder IOP for Teens -Phoenix Arizona

The Adolescent Eating Disorders IOP is for ages 13-18. It is 3 days per week, a total of 10 hours per week.  Open enrollment, join any time.

If you know anyone who may benefit from either of these specialty programs, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 602.997.2880 or email us at [email protected]

We are also contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare for our IOP’s. 

Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP

The Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) at Doorways is a group therapy program for teens who are struggling with the following issues or symptoms:

  • School avoidance/ refusal
  • Specific phobias (fear of vomiting, fear of spiders/animals, fear of elevators, etc.)
  • Panic attacks, panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

The Anxiety Disorders/OCD Intensive Outpatient Program is held three days per week.

Our IOP groups are contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare.

For more information about IOP, contact our IOP coordinator at 602-997-2880 or [email protected].

Here’s a typical session at our Anxiety Disorders/OCD IOP.

The first hour of our IOP is group sharing time. Members share and celebrate their successes and challenges with anxiety since the last group and offer each other feedback.

Then the remainder of the group we engage in fun and creative tasks to help adolescents face their fears.

These serve a purpose in challenging the social anxiety and OCD symptoms that keep adolescents from functioning in their world.We might play a game of charades, lip-syncing contests or practice doing every day activities that they might avoid.

We also go offsite and participate in activities that normally would cause us to feel extreme anxiety, but by doing it as a group in a safe setting, we learn how to overcome those feelings. For example, we recently went to a pumpkin patch and participated in a maze to challenge particular fears. We also go to malls or restaurants and plan social activities.

DBT Skills IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) for Adolescents ages 13-17

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a wide-ranging, evidence-based, cognitive behavioral treatment that has been shown to be a highly effective model for treating an array of disorders and problems. DBT is based on the theory that emotionally sensitive individuals tend to experience negative feelings more often, making it difficult for them to learn appropriate ways to regulate their emotions; this increases their tendency to engage in maladaptive behaviors to manage those negative feelings.  The goals of DBT skills training are to improve emotion regulation, learn mindfulness, strengthen distress tolerance, and increase interpersonal effectiveness.

DBT Skills IOP Group Phoenix AZ

The DBT Skills IOP Program at Doorways is for males and females, ages 13 to 17. It is open enrollment, which means you may join at any time.

This program is designed specifically for adolescents who are struggling with:

  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Self-Harm/Suicidal Ideation
  • Poor emotion regulation
  • Difficulty establishing/maintaining healthy relationships
  • Substance use

We have two DBT Skills IOPs

  • DOOR is Mon, Wed., and Thurs
  • WAYS is Tues,Wed, and Thurs

DBT Skills IOP includes

  • Use of diary cards/daily check-ins
  • Behavior Chain Analysis (BCA)
  • Skills instruction
  • Experiential activities
  • Goal setting
  • Weekly Parent Group and/or Family Group.

Our IOP groups are contracted with Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Healthcare.

For more information about the DBT Skills IOP contact our IOP coordinator at 602-997-2880 or [email protected].

 

Do You Have a Teen with OCD?

Do you have a teen with OCD?

Launched in 2009 by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), OCD Awareness Week takes place annually during the second week in October. OCD stands for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and OCD Week aims to raise awareness and understanding about this condition so that more sufferers can receive appropriate and effective treatment.

What is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?

OCD is a common mental condition. An individual with OCD has constantly recurring thoughts (obsessions) that may lead to behaviors that they have no control over (compulsions). These behaviors will be repeated over and over and the sufferer will be unable to stop. It’s not just about a habit like biting your nails or sometimes thinking negative thoughts. OCD in teens can affect their lives to such an extent that they have trouble living a normal life at home or in school.

What are Examples of OCD Obsessions and Compulsions?

An obsessive individual might be someone who thinks they’ll be unlucky if they don’t put their clothes on in the exact same order every morning. A compulsive habit might be someone washing their hands exactly seven times after touching something dirty. A teen may try to involve family members in their obsessions. For instance, they may insist that their parents and siblings also wash their hands the way they do. Although teens might not want to think or do these things, and may even understand that they don’t make sense, they feel powerless to stop.

How Common is OCD Among Teens?

The International OCD Foundation (IOCD) estimates that approximately twenty teenagers in a large high school may have OCD. Compulsive rituals can be somewhat time-consuming, making teens late for school and activities. When parents try to “reason” a teen out of their compulsive behavior, this results in arguments and tension. Some teens may worry that they’re going crazy and work hard to hide their OCD from others. This prevents them from behaving naturally and causes a great deal of inner stress and exhaustion.

What Causes OCD?

Unfortunately, research has not been able to pinpoint the exact cause or causes of OCD. However, studies have suggested that differences in the brain and genes of those affected may play a role. OCD may result from problems in communication between the front part of the brain and the brain’s deeper structures. These brain structures use a chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) called serotonin. What is known is that, in some sufferers, the brain circuitry involved in OCD becomes more normalized with medications that have an effect on serotonin levels (serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SRIs). The same effect has been observed in OCD sufferers undergoing cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

  • Can OCD be Inherited? – It does seem that OCD can run in families. This backs up the contention that genes are likely playing a partial role in the development of the disorder.

Where can I get Help for my Teen with OCD in Phoenix?

OCD is a type of anxiety disorder. If your teen (aged thirteen to seventeen) has been diagnosed with OCD, they may benefit from joining a Doorways Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Anxiety Disorders/OCD. A Doorways IOP consists of a small group led by a trained counselor and operates on an open enrollment basis. This means that your teen can be enrolled at any time. We want to help your teen with OCD so contact us for more information.

Sierra Tucson “Gratitude for Giving” Event, November 30, 2018

Once again this year, Doorways will be sponsoring the amazing Gratitude for Giving Celebration brought to you by Sierra Tucson to honor those that have devoted their lives professionally in the Phoenix area to helping others. Please join us November 30th at 9:00 AM for a day of celebration, recognition of the various individuals who have made significant contributions to our community, and a breakfast you’re sure to never forget.

To register for the event, please visit the Sierra Tucson Gratitude for Giving Registration page today. Sierra Tucson staff and networking tables will be available.

Doorways is Sponsoring the Iaedp Phoenix Winter Gala

This year, Doorways will be sponsoring the International Association of Eating Disorders professionals Phoenix Winter Gala. The event will take place at the Iaedp Symposium in Palm Desert, California on December 7th and will include various key speakers on all subjects related to eating disorders and being a professional in the industry. More information will be released as the date approaches including the names of the speakers and the schedule for those interested in attending. For more information on the event or about Iaedp in general, please visit their website.

IAEDP Foundation’s Focus:

The International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp™) is well recognized for its excellence in providing first-quality education and high-level training standards to an international multidisciplinary group of various healthcare treatment providers and helping professions, who treat the full spectrum of eating disorder problems.

 

Now Hiring: Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatrist

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year olds and their families.

Doorways provides a supportive, family-focused environment, flexible schedule, competitive salary and benefits, and a fun place to work!

Providers at Doorways specialize in treatment for eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety/OCD, substance abuse, depression, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Certification with current unrestricted license from the Arizona State Board of Nursing or Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathic Medicine with current unrestricted license from the Arizona State Board of Medical Examiners,
  • Current DEA License, NPI Number,
  • Three or more years’ experience in the delivery of mental health treatment for adolescents and young adults,
  • Current CPR & First Aid Certifications
  • Empaneled with at least one major insurance carrier in Arizona preferred.
  • Able to support a faith-based, holistic, integrated model of treatment
  • Energetic and passionate regarding working with the adolescent and young adult population
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills and the desire to grow with a rapidly expanding practice
  • Team player willing to work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in treatment planning and provision of care 

Responsibilities will include:

  • Psychiatric evaluations and medication management of patients
  • Prescribe, direct, and administer psychotherapeutic treatments and/or medications to treat mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.
  • Collaborate with our team of professionals for best care practices in the treatment of adolescents, young adults and their families.

If this position is of interest to you, let’s talk! Please contact Jan Hamilton, PMHNP-BC, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, at Doorways LLC. [email protected]

 

Now Hiring: Licensed Professional Counselor

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25 year olds and their families. Providers at Doorways specialize in treatment for Eating Disorders, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, OCD, ADD/ADHD, self-harm, suicide prevention, and family counseling.

We are seeking a full time or part time Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC, LMFT, or LCSW). To apply for this position please submit a cover letter, resume and salary requirement to [email protected]

Doorways provides a supportive, family-focused environment, flexible schedule, competitive salary and benefits, and a fun place to work!

Requirements:

  • Position requires a desire to work in a faith-based multidisciplinary practice with adolescents and their families in an outpatient setting.
  • Expectation of empaneling with at least one insurance company prior to start of employment.
  • Current CPR & First Aid Certifications
  • Fully licensed behavioral health counselor in the state of Arizona.
  • Minimum of three years experience working with 13-25 year old clients and their families.
  • Enthusiastic and positive personality!

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Experience working with eating disorder clients and families preferred
  • Experience in treating OCD /Social Anxiety and use of ERP therapy preferred
  • Experience in leading DBT groups and working knowledge of DBT skills preferred
  • Energetic and passionate regarding working with the adolescent and young adult population
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills and the desire to grow with a rapidly expanding practice
  • Team player willing to work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in treatment planning and provision of care

Submit resume [email protected]

 

 

Now Hiring: Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC) or Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC)

Doorways LLC. is a faith-based counseling organization in Phoenix, Arizona, that provides comprehensive outpatient treatment focused exclusively on 13-25-year-olds and their families.

Doorways is growing! We are in the development stage of adding an adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program for substance abuse and will need excellent staff to lead this IOP.

We are seeking a full time or part time LISAC or LASAC (Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor or Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor) or a therapist (LPC, LMFT, LCSW) who has extensive experience with substance abuse treatment.

Doorways provides a supportive, family-focused environment, flexible schedule, competitive salary and benefits, and a fun place to work!

Requirements:

  • Position requires a desire to work in a faith-based multidisciplinary practice with adolescents and their families in an outpatient setting
  • Master’s degree in psychology, counseling, social work or related field
  • Current and valid associate or independent level license through the AZBBHE (LAC, LPC, LMSW, LCSW, LASAC, LISAC)
  • Proficient computer skills and a working knowledge of Microsoft office programs
  • Exceptional communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Current unrestricted AZ Level One Fingerprint Clearance Card; Current CPR & First Aid
  • Enthusiastic and positive personality!

Desired Skills and Experience:

  • Energetic and passionate regarding working with the adolescent and young adult population
  • Possess excellent interpersonal skills and the desire to grow with a rapidly expanding practice
  • Expectation of empaneling with at least one insurance company prior to start of employment if possible (dependent on licensure)
  • 1-3 years experience working with teen and young adult populations
  • Team player willing to work with a multidisciplinary team of professionals in treatment planning and provision of care

To apply for this position please submit a cover letter, resume, and salary requirement to [email protected]