I have worked with families for over 25 years, for much of that time as a family law solicitor, and now also as a family therapist. As a lawyer, I became increasingly aware of the emotional difficulties my clients were struggling with, during or after separation. There didn’t seem to be anywhere they could go, with their children, for help with this. Before law, I had studied psychology and so I decided to train as a family therapist – to provide somewhere for families to go and talk about problems they are experiencing – whether as a result of separation or something else. Family therapy is useful for many problems and in many situations.
Most people are not sure what family therapy is. It is a branch of psychotherapy which is a way of dealing with mental health or emotional issues by talking instead of, or as well as, having medical treatment or taking medication. Most family therapists work for the NHS in adult or children’s mental health services. I work independently which means there is no need for a referral from your GP - you can arrange appointments with me directly.
Family therapists see individuals or people in family relationships. This can be parents with young children or teenagers; it can be adult children and their parents; siblings; couples; adopted children; step families. Sometimes it is one family member who is finding things difficult. Sometimes the whole family is affected. Often, one or more family members will be experiencing emotional or mental health difficulties.
It was hard at first but family therapy made it easy to talk about difficult things.
Family therapy opens up questions … it makes you look at things from a different point of view.
Family therapy made me feel more confident that I could talk to my children - confident I could understand what was in their heads and react to that.