The first goal is to assess where the “pain” seems to be. Is the pain grief from the loss of a loved one? The fear of a divorce? An addiction that is out of control? An affair that has broken the trust in a couple’s relationship? A child that is “acting out” behaviors that cannot be addressed within the family? The lack of self esteem brought on by the loss of a job or a broken relationship? The adjustments brought on by a life- threatening illness such as cancer or heart disease? These are just a few examples of some of the key issues that families need the help of a counselor in addressing.
Along with the verbal assessment done with the family on the first visit there is also a New Client Information form which can be down loaded and printed off as a PDF file. Click here to obtain a "New Client information form" for Gary or Sarah. Families coming to counseling for the first time will need to fill out this form. Doing so prior to your appointment will help make best use of our time together.
After the central problem is identified, there are a number of goals that may be achieved which will assist in the healing process:
- Couples’ and families’ communication skills improved: This goal includes the family learning how to do “active listening” and use problem solving skills.
- Spiritual enrichment: included in this goal is a new understanding of God’s unconditional love, the use of mediation and prayer, learning how to implement new family traditions.
- Relationships repaired: This goal includes the restoration of trust, the practice of confession and forgiveness, the assurance of the family being a “safe haven” where the family feels loved, cared for, accepted, and welcome as a place where they belong.
- Mindful understanding of family dynamics: this goal includes equipping the couple to recognize communication that is unhealthy; where there is emotional or physical abuse taking place, and identify and avoid roadblocks to communication that can harm the relationship.
- The Passion for life is repaired: working on a broken relationship takes energy and requires a focus of attention. When there is healing in the relationship or within the person, new energy is released for pursuing common goals and a new sense of purpose blossoms. And hope for the future is restored.