SERVICES
   
 

On Anxiety or Fears
On Couples in Distress
            Stay Together
            Separate or Divorce
            Not Sure/Ambivalence
On Parenting
On Depression
On Addictions or Substance Abuse
On Trauma
            You and Your Family
            EMDR and Your Child


ANXIETY or FEARS
Are you experiencing an inability to relax, irritability, a lack of concentration, or panic attacks?  Anxiety or fears are prevalent in our fast-paced, demanding society.  We all know about the pressures to succeed at work, at school, as parents, partners, and loved ones.  Lets not leave out the nagging pressures to climb the social and economic ladders or for our children to fit in with their peers.  For adults or for children, it is easy to get caught up in a relationship with anxiety or fear that leaves us feeling socially and emotionally disconnected.  My services bring people together in order to mobilize the strength necessary to break free from this emotional drain. 

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COUPLES in DISTRESS

STAY TOGETHER
Lets face it; to keep our love relationship vibrant and passionate is not easy.  Finances, parenting, and sexual practices are often the common barriers.  As someone married for over 14 years, I know that a passionate relationship takes attention and commitment.  Not long ago, the marriage contract was largely set-up to secure and manage the homestead or to consolidate and magnify family wealth.  Love and connection were low on the priority list.  Only in recent time has marriage become driven by “love” and laced with a great pressure to achieve and maintain “emotional fulfillment.”  Through Couples Therapy I can help you and your partner get back on track and then move forward from there.

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SEPARATE OR DIVORCE
Separation or divorce is not an easy decision.  It is a stressful time and an upheaval to all family members.  It can be upsetting for the person initiating the change and in a different way to the person who is not ready or willing to “give up” the relationship.  If the decision to dissolve the partnership is made, there is still much to talk about where your children are concerned.  You and your partner may no longer remain married but you will always be parents.  My therapy will provide you with a calm environment to speak together about how to move your family forward as it takes on a different shape with new emerging needs. 

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NOT SURE/AMBIVALENCE
I offer something developed by Dr. William Doherty and his team in Minnesota called Discernment counseling. This is a structured process for couples to look at their options before making a final decision about staying together and working on their marriage or pursuing divorce. It is most appropriate for couples where one partner wants to preserve and repair the relationship, and the other is leaning towards ending it. Research shows that this kind of “mixed agenda” occurs among approximately 30% of couples approaching divorce. Discernment counseling differs from marriage counseling in the following ways: a) the goal of discernment counseling is not to solve problems in the relationship, but to determine if both parties are interested in trying to solve them, and b) discernment counseling may be as brief as one session and as long as five sessions. Discernment counseling focuses on three paths:

  • ending the relationship via separation or divorce
  • carving out a six-month period for an all-out effort in couples counseling (and sometimes other services) to preserve the marital relationship
  • “staying the course” and deciding later

My job as your discernment counselor is to respect the reasons for ending the relationship while opening up the possibility of restoring the relationship to health.

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PARENTING
Am I doing too much for my children?  Maybe I’m not doing enough?  Is my child ADHD?  How is he adjusting to his new school?  “No matter what I do, I won’t repeat my parent’s mistakes…I mean I know I will make mistakes but not if I can help it.”  I hear this in my office and I have even thought it myself as a parent.  It is inevitable to feel anxiety around parenting.  We are inundated with “how-to” information and much of it is contradictory.  Sure there are basic parenting skills to consider.  Parenting is partially about being firm with our children.  It is also about allowing our children to feel heard by us.  We can talk about this both in terms of what is going well and what might need to change.

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DEPRESSION
Are you experiencing feelings of despair that come out of nowhere or that are linked to a specific event, confusing mood swings (from feeling high on life to a life not worth living), or even postpartum blues?  This sounds like depression and depression is often fed by isolation and a desire to further withdraw.  I have witnessed exciting transformation when loved ones are brought together to mobilize their strength against depression.  This can come in the form of resolving nagging conflicts, or creating a space where the important people around you learn to listen and you can finally feel heard.  Beginning to feel “understood” is a 1st step.

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ADDICITIONS or SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Perhaps you or a family member is coming out of treatment.  “Will I still love him?”  How do you and your family make that transition?  Perhaps you think that a family member might need a formal treatment program.  Now what?  These are complicated scenarios and family therapy can help.  Addictions and substance abuse touch many families in destructive ways.  You might be in relationship with an addiction or substances, or you might believe that one of your family members is.  In session we will treat the addiction as “another unwanted member of the family.”  Addiction creates family havoc out of the bond that is formed between the abuser and their addiction or substance of choice.  We will discuss this in our therapy as well as the many other personal and complex issues associated with this problem.  As a family therapist, I have brought many loved ones together to find their own collective solutions through productive and thoughtful dialogue. 

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TRAUMA

YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

Repetitive thoughts or images, the desire to avoid certain people or places, irritability, and trouble concentrating, are just a few of the potential signs of trauma. Trauma can occur from a single incident (a violent experience) or from repeated exposure to a similar event (family turmoil). Trauma and the thoughts and feelings associated with it get lodged in our Nervous System and trauma encourages social and emotional isolation. Where children are concerned, trauma can look a lot like anxiety or depression. It can result from parental conflict, separation or divorce, illness, or a life transition. Family Therapy can help because it challenges a tendency to withdraw by mobilizing a person’s resources. Trauma is best managed by creating a supportive environment where all family members can hear each other and feel heard by one another and ultimately become part of the solution.

EMDR AND CHILDREN

Is your child distracted? Unable to focus on his school work? Does she appear anxious or depressed? Is he wakeful at night possibly due to some past event? Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is empirically proven to help. I am one of a few practitioners to use EMDR in conjunction with Family Therapy for children who have experienced trauma. Perhaps due to your child’s age and that a given trauma (or phobia) has not had the time to lodge itself inside your child’s nervous system, EMDR is a solid treatment option. Done within a Family Context, potential stigmas are avoided, the family becomes a rich resource against the problem, and your child can move past their fear.

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Contact Me Today.
Phone: 310.874.3944
E-mail: jon@jkfamilytherapy.com
LCS20006
   
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