Talk therapy is the general term for the traditional counseling relationship. This mental health treatment can take the shape of individual, couples, or family counseling. Underneath the physical meeting space, what takes place in the therapeutic relationship is approached from a systemic therapeutic model called systemic therapy.
Contact us to speak with someone from LightHeart Associates about our talk therapy in Seattle, with includes an individual counseling option.
What Is Systemic Therapy?
Most recognize that positive and satisfying relationships aid in the development and maintenance of overall health. In psychology, this understanding defines and distinguishes systemic therapeutic models such as couples, relational, organizational, and family therapies. Individuals are viewed as part of several greater wholes. Therefore, these systems need to be considered in treatment planning. These systems can be relationships, friendships, families, businesses, cultures, or any group that shapes our thoughts and behaviors as relational beings.
When Is the Systemic Therapeutic Model Useful?
Systemic and family therapists are generally more focused on what happens between individuals than within individuals. Though this therapeutic lean is helpful for most mental health issues, relational and systemic thinking is constructive for the following topics:
- Intergenerational issues
- Relational and marital issues
- Grief and loss
- Alternative or blended families
- Individual, relational, or social adjustment difficulties
- Families with multiple racial, religious, or ethnic backgrounds
- Parenting issues
- Child behavioral issues
Mental health professionals working with the systemic therapeutic model expand the individual lens to view symptoms as a product of the system in its entirety—emphasizing a mutual understanding of members’ values, personalities, experiences, and coping strategies as well as their origins throughout generations of families, communities, and societies as a whole.
How Does Systemic Therapy Work?
Family therapists use many therapeutic models to treat systemic issues, including emotionally focused, structural, strategic, narrative, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. While the modalities of couples and family therapy are various to suit clients’ diverse needs, communication skill building and interpersonal resolution are utilized most commonly.
Therapists may focus on specific conflicts or may evaluate the subtler sources of conflict, seeking to create an understanding of the preverbal cogs in the machine, clarifying and improving the dialogue and interactional patterns of clients. Understanding systemic issues and their impact allows all members to develop their awareness, productive interaction skills, and strengths as a supportive, secure, functioning whole.
Child and Adolescent Therapy
Just like adults, children and adolescents are affected by the pressures of everyday life. Many children and adolescents experience daily stressors at school, at home, and social settings.
Why Might Your Child Need Therapy?
Your child may need therapy if they are going through a major life transition such as parental divorce, death of a loved one, major illness in the family, parent military deployment, or has experienced trauma, abuse, or neglect. Other signs that your child or adolescent may benefit from therapy include the following:
- Any developmental delays, including speech, language, toilet training, or in gross and fine motor skills
- Learning or attention problems
- Behavioral problems including excessive anger, physical aggression, bedwetting, disordered eating
- A significant drop in academic grades, especially if your child or adolescent maintains high or decent grades
- Bullying or being bullied
- Episodes of sadness and tearfulness
- Decreased interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Extreme mood swings
- Signs of alcohol, drug, or other substance abuse
If you are concerned about your child or adolescent’s emotional and behavioral well-being, trust your instincts and seek help. Psychotherapists will assess your child or adolescent to determine if therapy is needed.
How Can Therapy Help Your Child?
Psychotherapists working with children and adolescents often use expressive interventions such as play, art, and experiential techniques. Child and adolescent therapists are not limited to these interventions and often employ:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Brief solution-focused therapy
Therapy can support children and adolescents in learning and employing problem-solving skills, coping skills, and emotion regulation skills to help them navigate life stressors and emotional and behavioral issues.
Find Talk Therapy in Seattle at LightHeart Associates
If you’re looking for couples, family, or individual counseling in Seattle, contact LightHeart Associates today at 425.800.5688 to learn more about our services.