Family members interested in convening family meetings to discuss important family matters can contact us to facilitate. Any family member can initiate a family meeting and invite the involved parties to partake in a discussion. There are numerous reasons family members schedule regular family meetings. Parents may want to meet together to discuss co-parenting issues; a parent and child may need to meet to discuss developmental challenges from time to time; an adult child may want to meet with siblings to discuss elderly parent needs and to develop strategies to address them.
Important family matters deserve input from all members to maximize potential for positive outcomes. We encourage the use of the Sharevision group meeting format where the principals of sharing air time equitably and respectful self-reflection is practiced. Family members have an opportunity to identify their hope and to state their needs and interests in an assertive way while others practice listening and responding reflectively.
Couples invested in a successful long-term relationship can sign up for what we call “relationship check-ups.” Partners review, discuss and decide upon important family matters in our presence as a caring third party. For couples to take the time to participate in a relationship check-up is just as important as getting an annual physical exam, regular oil changes or routine tune-ups for vehicles. Couples who engage in relationship check-ups are more able to proactively approach predictable issues that arise in the family life cycle. Some of the issues couples discuss include: building a healthy lifestyle together; communication and intimacy needs; coming to agreement on shared financial goals and income-making strategies; household management; family planning, child and parenting approaches; family of origin issues; and developing healthy stress management strategies.
Couples are encouraged to schedule three one and half hour sessions with one of our licensed counselors to do an initial assessment. By the third session, couples will be asked to articulate and then write down the agreed upon goals for their relationship. Examples of some of the goals couples have established include: learning how to communicate in ways that your partner can best understand you; moving past barriers to greater intimacy and closeness; showing appreciation and affection to one another; learning how to support and nurture one another as individuals; becoming good at sharing power and control; learning how to find ways for all family members contribute to the household.
Depending on how much time couples want to invest in working on their goals, they then contract for a number of sessions over an agreed upon time frame. Usually couples with up to three goals will schedule to meet with a couples therapist every other week the first two to three months and then once a month for as long as needed, usually 8-12 sessions. Most insurance companies will cover family therapy sessions for couples even when one or both partners are in individual therapy.