Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Dr. Corinne; 'I want to be a family therapist!'

I am a Tibetan.  I am very much interested in becoming a couple or family therapist. But I was raised in an institution. So, my question is do you think I can become a very good couple or family therapist? 
Dear Pema, 
When I read your question, I am left wondering about how you see the effect of being raised in an institution on your decision to become a therapist.  In other words, you seem to imply limitations because of your background.  I don't want to make any assumptions about your experience, so I can't comment specifically on your situation. I can say that there are people from all walks of life that become great therapists.  There is no one 'type' of person that will be the 'best' therapist.  Therapists come from all different cultures and backgrounds!  So, do not limit yourself by beliefs about your background. I would love to know more about you and would be very interested in hearing about your life experience! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

So, why family therapy?

I chose to study family therapy because of its holistic, alternative way of viewing people and change.

Family Therapists refrain from diagnosing and labeling conditions and instead seek to understand the person in whatever dilemma they may find themselves.
The most important relationship that one may have throughout life is the relationship one has with one’s self. Successful therapy can re-introduce you to yourself, allowing you to reclaim talents, abilities and skills that perhaps became overlooked along the way. When we learn to treat ourselves with care, with love and acceptance, then forgiveness and compassion for ourselves and others becomes a way of life.
In my experience, therapy often works to change not only the client, but also the therapist. Every single time I meet someone I am invited to be a participant in shaping their story. Every single time I join another in their world, I am opening myself to have my story shaped by another.
What a relational world we live in!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

'I have a great deal of issues regarding my family' Real Questions Answered by Dr. Corinne

I would like to find out more about family therapy as I have a great deal of issues regarding my family and the dynamics of this family and really how I am absolutely ignored by said family.

Dear Dawn,
A family therapist is someone who asks questions that reflect an understanding of systems. For example, instead of seeking to blame, uncover ‘unconscious’ dilemmas, or ‘fix’ someone, the family therapist will ask questions about the patterns within the family. How does this problem exist? What has the family already tried to solve the problem? How is the problem talked about?

Jay Haley, a founding member of family therapy once said, ‘you can never not be communicating’. Even through silence and distance, emotional interactions within the family are taking place.

Thing is, usually the person in the most pain or frustration is the one to reach out for help. Even if you were to begin therapy on your own, a family therapist will be skilled in bringing in your family relationships. Often times as we take steps to change ourselves, relationships around us will begin to change.

I hope this answered your question. You also asked about locating a family therapist. One way to do this is to visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists website, or AAMFT. This will provide you with a list of qualified and licensed family therapists in your area. Please let me know if you have other questions.

It sounds as though you really want relationships in your family to change. I, too, gravitated to family therapy because of events and relationships within my own family. I wanted answers to my questions!
I congratulate you on taking the first step toward changing things for your family.

*C. Scholtz, (2012)