Individual and Family Therapy
The goals of our treatment are to help our child, family, and adult clients reach their potential by maximizing their strengths and working around or remediating their challenges. We can also work with families to learn new ways of looking at life that will help change your feelings and reactions.
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About Family and Individual Therapy
The Stewart Center provides individual therapy, family therapy and parent coaching to address a number of challenges, including trauma (especially trauma in individuals with autism spectrum disorder), adoption-related problems, anxiety, stress-related disorders and more. We strongly believe you should feel comfortable with the provider you choose for yourself, your family, or your child, and hopeful about the therapy. When you feel this way, therapy is more likely to be helpful to you. Let us describe how we see therapy.
Our theoretical approach is based on developmental, cognitive, behavioral and ecological principles. Developmental refers to the physical, emotional, social, and behavioral stages that each individual goes through as they mature. Cognitive refers to the patterns of thinking and beliefs that we all have about the world, ourselves, and others. Behavioral refers to the outward and inward patterns of behavior that are observed or inferred by our actions, and ecological refers to the interactions of important systems that we all live in, such as our families, schools, and communities. We believe that each of these principles work together to create a person’s unique ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
The most central ideas in our work are that people are good and on unique paths to fulfilling their potential. The goals of our treatment are to help our child, family, and adult clients reach their potential by maximizing their strengths and working around or remediating their challenges.
By the end of your first or second session, your provider will tell you how he or she sees your case at this point and how they think treatment should proceed. We view therapy as a partnership between the provider and client. You define the problem areas to be worked on; we use some special knowledge to help you make the changes you want to make. Therapy is not like visiting a medical doctor. If we work with you, it requires your very active involvement. If we work with your child, it requires you and your child’s very active involvement. It will take you and/or your child’s best efforts to change thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
You and your provider will plan your work together. In the provider’s treatment plan, he or she will list the areas to work on, goals, methods to use, time and money commitments and agreements, and some other things. Your provider expects you both to agree on a plan and work hard to follow it. From time to time, you and your provider will look at your progress and goals. If you or they think it is needed, together you can change the treatment plan, its goals, or its methods. If we are working with your young child, this process takes place with you. With older children, the process may involve you and your child, or may just involve your child. We will determine who is involved in this process at our first meeting.
An important part of your therapy will be practicing new skills that you or your child will learn in sessions. We will ask you and/or your child to practice outside our meetings, and we will work together to set up homework assignments. We might ask you or your child to do exercises, keep records, and read to deepen your learning. You or your child will probably have to work on relationships in your life and make long-term efforts to get the best results. These are important parts of personal change. Change will sometimes be easy and quick, but more often it will be slow and frustrating, and we will need to work together and keep trying. There are no instant, painless cures and no magic pills However, you or your child can learn new ways of looking at your life that will be very helpful for changing your feelings and reactions.
Most of our clients see their provider once a week for 3 to 4 months. After that, we meet less often for several more months. Then, therapy usually comes to an end. The process of ending therapy, called termination, can be a very valuable part of our work. Stopping therapy should not be done casually, although either of us may decide to end it if we believe it is in you or your child’s best interest. If you wish to stop therapy at any time, we ask that you (and your child, if he or she is the client) agree now to meet then for at least one more session to review our work together. We will review our goals, the work we have done, any future work that needs to be done, and our choices. If you would like to take a time out from therapy to try things on your own, we should discuss this to make such a break from therapy more helpful.