Children & Families
When I first started counselling, I was contracted to work for the NSW Child Protection Department, working with children who had complex trauma, often living in foster care or dysfunctional homes.
I quickly learned that children cannot change a family system. They are the most powerless person in the system. I found working with the child alone, without taking account of the whole family system, is like patching the child up and sending them back into the boxing ring of dysfunction and emotional harm. Parents were unaware and children are not able to facilitate change in the family system.
I decided to work with whoever was flying the plane – the mother and/or the father or carers. I changed the way child therapy was done by focusing on the entire family. There is usually intergenerational trauma in families – inherited behaviours that flow on from grandparents to parents to kids.
It is worth highlighting how the trauma that has not been healed in this generation has the potential to be passed on to the next generation. A child’s sense of self does not develop in isolation. Rather, it develops in response to the parent-child relationship, as well as other important relationships early in life.
We all come into this world to connect with others and when these attachments and connections do not happen, or they happen in a way that hurts or injure us, our sense of self does not develop appropriately.
Sometimes, healing is necessary for both parents and children. This may be due to the parents being highly traumatised by living through the traumas of their children. In other cases, the parent’s own early experiences and relationships with their parental figures may have resulted in difficulties developing relationships with their own children. Some parents may have difficulty setting boundaries with their kids, or they may be overprotective neglectful or abusive. Otherwise, they may be too distant or too intrusive.
A parent’s emotional problems can affect their children’s emotional, physical and psychological development. For instance, a parent with depression without knowing or intending to, may neglect their child’s needs for connection and love. This can result in having a child with emotional and behavioural problems.
All families can benefit from therapy, regardless of income level, ethnicity, or background. As a mother of three children, I know that parenting is an ongoing learning curve and that outside support can often help.
When treating children, there are four basic needs – to feel loved, to feel safe, to have competency and to have a sense of belonging.
For children to have these four basic needs met, the adults in the household often need to learn how to be more relational and attuned with their children. I implement parenting strategies based on attachment theory – Connect then Correct. Most times, when parents receive family therapy and parenting strategies, the whole family improves their emotional well-being and thrives.
How to Work with Me
Download the Intake Form
Visit the page for new clients, download and fill out the intake form applicable to the therapy you wish to book.
Request an Appointment
Contact me via email, let me know what session you’d like to book, please include your completed intake form with your email.
Confirm Your Appointment
I will contact you to arrange a suitable appointment day and time. We can meet in person or online via Zoom