In attachment terms, my approach while working with children and their families is to help them resolve challenging feelings by providing a “holding environment” that contains their distress. Often stressful life situations activate their most problematic feelings, and their schemas will shape faulty expectations that distort their perceptions.
As Winnicott (1965) says, the child needs only” good enough mothering”, I strive to provide a “good enough” holding environment with my young clients.
How does Family Therapy work?
Sessions 1-4: I use a detailed genogram and take 1-4 sessions to complete the initial assessment of the family structure, family cohesion and family communication.
Sessions 5-12: During these sessions, I work with the members of the family to explore the relationship of their core conflicts with their insecure attachments, problematic childrearing practices, and faulty structural family relationships. Often times, repetitive and consistent problematic interactions with care givers give rise to pathogenic beliefs about oneself along with faulty expectations of others. Some of the common repetitive and fixed interactional patterns that I see in clients, include, always pleasing others, trying to be perfect, repeatedly taking charge, routinely taking care of others and meeting their needs, Avoiding all conflicts and so forth. Identifying these patterns and beginning to change this pattern in the relationship is the major working area during this stage.
Here are some books that I refer to clients:
- Delivered from distraction, Edward Hallowell, M.D., John J. Ratey, M.D.,2005
- From Scattered to Centred, Alicia R. Maher, MD, 2014
- The medicine of Peace, Jeffrey Paul Ansloos, 2017
- Empty: A Memoir, Susan Burton,2020
- Braving the Wilderness, Brene’ Brown, PhD, LMSW,2017
- Ask me about my uterus, Abby Norman,2018