Question from Doctors:
How do you treat depression and anxiety?
Depression and anxiety are treated inter-personally. While some cognitive behavioral ideas around self-regulation are used the focus is on strengthening resilience in relationships with others.
How do you work under Medicare Better Access plans?
Medicare referrals and private health fund rebates are available. However, some team members do not have the specific training pathway to give this coverage even though they are highly credentialed and experienced. Even without rebates the patient can be assured that they will receive an economical service in terms of spacing between sessions.
Who should attend the session?
If one family member has serious mental health symptoms and is seeing a mental health specialist, it is valuable to suggest to concerned family members that they can achieve a great deal by getting their own coaching about ways they relate to the symptom bearer (parents and spouses).
Questions from School Counsellors:
Can I just refer the child or adolescent to work on their family system?
Yes. However, we always ask that a parent be willing to be involved. A goal will be to engage the parent as a resource for their child and to not allow the child to use the therapist as a substitute parent.
Questions from Church Referrers:
Will it be unhelpful for the client if the therapist does not share the same faith understanding?
A family systems approach does not direct people according to a belief system. They are encouraged to think, feel and behave for themselves in a responsible manner (using their intellect rather than subjective feelings). If they have issues about their faith they will be encouraged to resolve these in the relationships they belong in (as with any unresolved issues) not in the therapeutic relationship.
Many church workers find the approach helpful for management of the complex pressures of family emotional reactivity in their churches/organisations. This is consultation/coaching, as distinct from therapy.
“All clergymen and women, irrespective of faith, are simultaneously involved in three distinct families whose emotional forces interlock: the families within the congregation, our congregations, and our own. Because the emotional process in all of these is identical, unresolved issues in any one of them can produce symptoms in the others, and increased understanding of any one creates more effective functioning in all three.” Rabbi Edwin Freidman, p. 1. Generation to generation: Family process in church and synagogue