Abuse
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Family Therapy is like excavating a gold mine.  Full of precious metals and a whole lot of dirt.  Sometimes the gold nuggets are there for everyone to see.  Sometimes they are buried deep.  And, usually, there’s a whole lot of fool’s gold - what looked precious on the surface but proved valueless once brushed off.  But, like most gold mines, if you dig deep enough you strike GOLD.

The role of the family therapist is to mine for gold.  To differentiate between fool’s gold and real gold.  In most cases, if you dig deep enough, you will find it.  Like a true mine, once you find it, you still have some refining to do.  The refining in family therapy is to identify and celebrate the unique qualities of each nugget.

The goal of family therapy is to celebrate the unique qualities of the nuggets of their discovery.  You might wish they were all round and smooth and symmetrical.  What if one is jagged and scratched?  It is no less beautiful.  Acceptance of differences is the goal and the key.  Inclusion in the idea of what is beautiful is the challenge.

Too often we are challenged to live an adversarial competitive life while we yearn for harmony and peace.  Mediation is a process that is designed to provide mutual respect, conflict resolution, compromise, and negotiation to more closely approximate harmony and peace in a stressful, disconnected atmosphere.

The role of the mediator is to bring to the table the emotionally-laden issues that cannot be resolved through cooperation and good will.  The idea is not that feelings do not matter, rather that emotions of the individual(s) are clouding their ability to look at the bigger picture.

The goal of mediation is to find a solution that all members can live with.  It is a give and take process.  The ultimate goal is to keep intact the fundamental governing rules of the individuals, the couple, the family, the business.  A solution we can all live with.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a term used to describe a cluster of symptoms that people experience when they have been exposed to a traumatic event, or an accumulation of traumas.  The symptoms, to list a few are; disturbed sleep patterns, decreased motivation, focus and concentration, impaired memory, flashbacks to traumatic episodes, nightmares, irritability, mood changes, hyper-vigilance, disinterest in normal activities.

The role of the therapist in PTSD and trauma is often to assist the person in recognizing and acknowledging that what they are experiencing is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation.  This can take time.  It is then important for the therapist to help the person process the feelings they have about the event, about what they “should” have felt and reconcile that with what they actually felt.  Distorted perceptions, unrealistic expectations, and disconnection from feelings need to be addressed.

The goal of therapy is to re-integrate the person so that they re-claim their thought , feelings, and actions.  The goal is that they normalize their responses and practice self care techniques.