Family Therapy in Amherst, MA—Therapists and Counselors  

It is ironic but often sad that the amount of love and emotion shared between family members can often be the fuel for very intense disagreements. The effects of emotionally charged arguments can linger causing divisions in the family structure, social withdrawal and estrangements. As a result, the family unit, which can be the source of great joy, can also result in great sorrows.

Being a member of a family is something that cannot be avoided. And, since we do not get to choose the family that we are a part of, we also do not get to choose the structure and family dynamics that will have a powerful effect on our lives. These family structures and dynamics have an impact on who we are, what we become and, overall, influence the direction that our lives take. For example, the family we are born into will determine the language we use, the customs we adopt, the rituals and culture we participate in. All these factors help to shape our very identify.

Therefore, when dysfunction and disruption in family systems occur creating disagreements, the amount of emotional pain that is experienced can be very severe and can contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Some of these experiences can be very traumatic contributing to PTSD that can have long-lasting effects if not treated.

Because one cannot choose nor trade away family members, someone in the midst of family conflict can feel helpless and lose hope. This sense of powerlessness can affect one’s self-esteem, sense of efficacy and increase symptoms of depression and anxiety. Substance abuse may occur as a misguided attempt to cope with the pain. But this only compounds the problem. Call Thriveworks Amherst today at (413) 634-4805.

Help from a Professional Family Therapist  

Seeking the help of a professional therapist, trained in the nature of family dynamics and with years of experience providing therapy for those caught in the pain of family dysfunction, may be the first step in addressing family issues and bringing the reconciliation that can heal a family. A trained family therapist or counselor, such as those at Thriveworks Amherst, can help identify unhealthy behavior patterns in a family and help change the dynamics of the family’s structure that generate these patterns. A family member can also be supportive to the family as a whole as well as each family member. The family therapist’s intent is to identify and meet the needs of each family member while bringing a functional cohesiveness to the family unit. The result is healthier patterns of relating and more effective methods of communication within the family.

Family therapy can take many forms and go by many titles such as:

  • family counseling
  • family systems therapy
  • couples’ therapy or counseling and
  • marriage therapy.

What Issues Do Family Therapists Address?  

A trained family therapist will help the client identify and analyze the dynamics involved with intimate relationships including an assessment of both strengths and weaknesses in the family structure. A therapist may also offer to investigate and/or adopt alternative structures or systems that can bring resolution and healing to those relationships. The lens of family therapy sees the family unit as an important part of an individual’s cognitive and emotional well-being.  

The family therapist also realizes that everyone in the family unit may see the presenting problem in the same way. Some may see it as an overall deficit in the family dynamics while others may see it as an issue with an individual family member or members. A skilled, trained professional therapist will take these differences into account when developing a strategy to bring resolution to the presented problem. Positive results are accomplished through the direct participation of the affected family members. The professional therapists at Thriveworks Amherst have the experience to implement family therapy by focusing on the strengths, wisdom, and support of the wider family system while paying close attention of the needs of each member.  

Issues of individual family members that may affect the overall structure of the family unit include:

  • Childhood conduct disorders
  • Mood Disorders such as depression and anxiety
  • Adolescent Rebellious Behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • LGBTQ issues
  • Domestic violence
  • Infertility
  • Marital conflicts
  • Grieving
  • PTSD
  • Undiagnosed ADHD

Methods and Techniques Used in Family Therapy or Counseling  

There are various approaches that family therapists practice. Some of these approaches and techniques may include:

  • Interpersonal Therapy;
  • Family Systems Approach;
  • Cognitive Therapy;
  • Behavior Therapy;
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy;
  • Psychodynamic approach or
  • Many of the same techniques used in Individual Therapy.

The treatment that is used by a specific family therapist will depend on that therapist’s training and will determine the specific techniques implemented. But the end goal will be the same, healing of the structures, patterns and dynamics that create family dysfunction and emotional pain. This may include the use of behavior therapy to treat conduct disorders of children that can be extremely disruptive and problematic to the family unit.

How to Get the Help You Need?  

Family therapists at Thriveworks Amherst are leaders in their field. They are all licensed therapists and trained to address intricacies involved in the specific issues and problems afflicting your family and of relationships within them.

Whatever the source of the issues in your relationships, everyone involved deserves to be treated with the respect and dignity that a Thriveworks counselor will provide. They also have the skills to help you and your family develop new, healthy ways to deal with problems and learn healthy communication.

Thriveworks does not have a waitlist and appointments are often within 24 hours. So, call today at 413-634-4805. Thriveworks family therapists can help you obtain healthy, loving, and respectful relationships.

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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Kristen Kocot: empathy and integrity in counseling

★★★★★
I've had the privilege of knowing and working with Kristen Kocot, a counselor in Amherst, since January 2019. ...Read more

We met in person after she heard my appearance on SiriusXM's Karen Hunter Show. Since then, we have co-created and presented continuing education material at conferences in Massachusetts. As a traumatic brain injury survivor, I value Kristen's approach to therapy perhaps more than the average person. Her dedication to the whole recovery - immediate release from hospital/clinic, adjustment and acclimation to what life now is, facing the roller coaster that can fuel life post-trauma, pairing the clinical with the personal - sets her apart from many of the therapists I have known. I wholeheartedly recommend Kristen Kocot and sessions with her.

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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Dr. Gregory Handel

★★★★★
Dr. Gregory Handel is not only an exceptional psychologist but is an exceptional human being as well. Always g...Read more

oing above and beyond to provide support, care, and love for those in need. This man exemplifies all the right qualities of a counselor, he is patient, listens intently, and is honest, always. No matter what struggle or conflict you may have endure or are enduring, Dr. Greg Handel will always do everything in his power to help you through it. Filled with compassion, empathy, and wisdom, there is no one in the therapeutic industry better qualified.

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Thriveworks Counseling Amherst MA

Sarah Hoxie

★★★★★
Sarah is a strong clinician who responds to clients and families with genuine compassion, sound clinical judgm...Read more

ent, and an accessible, caring personality. I trust Sarah implicitly and would recommend her without hesitation.

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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 21 Pray Street
    Amherst , MA 01002

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    Sat-Sun:8AM-5PM