Family and Child Therapy and Counseling

CHILD AND FAMILY THERAPY

Families struggle from time to time. Our family therapy helps families break harmful cycles that drive them apart and replaces those with healthy habits. It starts with understanding.

Making Families Stronger with Family and Child Therapy

Your family is a community of individuals. Often you share common values and goals but each of you also brings a different personality and set of life experiences.

When you think of what having a family should be you think about being a part of something, of belonging. Having a closeness with people who know you, your history and who accept you for who you really are. You pictured a bond that would be unbreakable, no matter what challenges life threw your way. “Blood is thicker than water” and the connection you have with your family would get you through anything.

When you look at your family today, it doesn’t seem to match the image in your mind’s eye. There’s no Norman Rockwell vision of the idealized loving family. The differences between you and your family stand out larger than life and you wonder at times…how can we even be related?

You’re not the only family going through this. The busy-ness and disconnect that you are experiencing is happening in households all over our community. We know it’s painful to feel so distant from your loved ones and it’s important to know that your family doesn’t have to be this detached.

Acuity Counseling Can Help.

Family counseling provides the opportunity for you and your loved ones to share concerns in a safe and supportive environment.

Each member of your family is different and has a unique perspective on how to improve the family dynamic. Family therapy offers a space to explore the things that are not going well. Together with your therapist, you and your family will learn more about the patterns of communication and interaction that are keeping you stuck. We also help you to learn new ways of expressing concerns and communicating intense emotions to help you manage the differences between individual family members. 

 Perhaps you and your partner are bringing children together from other relationships to form a new family. Or maybe you’ve recently gone through a divorce or other life transition that has significantly changed your family dynamic. Has a substance use or addiction taken up residence in your family? You know you need help but don’t know where to start. You’re looking for the best ways to move forward and keep everyone together as a family. Our family therapists understand. We have worked with the wide variety of struggles that any family can face.

Acuity Counseling family counselors and therapists are ready to help your family through:

  • Navigating Divorce
  • Blended Family issues
  • Substance use & Addiction in children
  • Social Skills, Communication Skills and conflict resolution
  • Life Transitions (divorce, re-marriage, blending families)
  • Academic challenges in Children
  • Behavior and Anger Management
  • Feelings of Anxiety and Depression
  • Eating Disorders & Body Image Concerns in Children
  • Traumatic experiences among families or with children
  • Defiant Disorder

The Acuity Approach to Family Counseling

We know that every struggle that a family faces has different causes, perspectives and solutions. The art of family therapy is to break these into individual parts and work on them one at a time. The guiding philosophy of our work with families is that they work as a system. If one part of the family is challenged, it can cause other unintended consequences.

For example:

If one parent is spending more time at work that puts more stress on the other parent and strains the romantic relationship between the partners. It also shifts more responsibility to the parent at home which can add stress that reduces the one-on-one support that a child needs to succeed at school.

There are many approaches that focus on one member of the family, but solutions to problems like these require the entire family to work on a solution.

Examples like the one above are why our child therapists work closely with parents. If your child is struggling with a particular issue, you should understand that therapy can help them come to terms with their struggle personally, but without the right parental support, all that progress in therapy can disappear.

Family Counseling with Younger Children – Parent Child Interactive Therapy

One of the main tools in our toolbox when working with the issues that families and children face is parent child interactive therapy (PCIT). The goal of this therapy is to work with families with younger children on improving their behavioral issues. You can think of this as parenting coaching. 

In PCIT, a therapist will observe your interactions with your child and offer some real time suggestions for you to implement in session. Many parents are appreciative of the extra help that our child therapists can provide in difficult interactions. After all, child psychology is complex, and an expert can best help you to direct your child’s behavior. Which provides you with useful tools to have at your parenting disposal.

Often we use PCIT for behavioral issues including anger management and social or separation anxiety.

Younger kids also respond well to play therapy. In this style of therapy, your therapists won’t be ‘babysitting’ and playing games with your child, instead our therapists use the time to direct children through different activities that are similar to play time, and ask them to engage with their emotions while doing so.

Many kids are not able to describe how they personally feel or what they have experienced, but are able to assign those emotions or experiences to a Barbie ®  or action figure. In the same way, art therapy allows children to express their inner concerns indirectly with a therapist so that they can better come to terms with their struggles. Both of these methods provide opportunities for a child to talk about their struggles in a way that is comfortable to them (overall few, if any, kids like to sit and talk for an hour).

Family Counseling with Teens 

The teenage years tend to be times filled with conflict within families. Parents want to keep their child safe and maintain guidance and control, while teens begin to act as their own person and become influenced more by friends than parents. As teens become more influenced by peers, body image issues, depression, social anxiety, bullying and the resulting academic slide are all common concerns that parents want help with. 

Typically, we start with a full family session to understand the family dynamics, but transition over time to working with the teen one on one. Many teens that are unable to open up to friends and are hesitant to open up to parents find that therapy is the perfect middle ground for their self expression. As a parent, understand that your child wants a certain level of support and a certain level of privacy, and our therapy can be a good partner to help you achieve both.

Your role as a parent is to keep an eye out for issues that you see your teen having and offering help when needed. If you feel that your teen is struggling with any of the issues we have laid out, talk with your teen and suggest talking more with you or a therapist regarding their issues. The teenage years are where many mental illnesses first are noticed and best treated, so keeping a watchful eye is invaluable for your child’s future growth.

It is possible to come back together as a family and find the connection or solutions that you are longing for. With the guidance of an experienced professional, your family can be back on track.

Acuity Counseling is a multi-disciplinary team of counselors and therapists, with a variety of specializations to meet your unique needs. We take great care in matching you with the right counselor for you and your specific concerns. Each therapist tailors their approach to help you reach your goals and provide the kind of care that acknowledges you as an individual and your family as a unit.

Frequently Asked Questions for Family and Child Therapy

Do you prescribe medication for children?

We typically suggest that parents start with talk therapy before jumping into medication. Once we have a good grasp on what the situation is, we connect parents with psychopharmacologists in the area who can prescribe appropriate medications. Generally, we listen to the cues of parents on this. Some parents avoid medicating their child and we can work with a more naturalistic approach (but we will advise what we think may be best as well).

Will you disagree with my parenting?

We won’t criticise your parenting, but will follow your lead. However, issues in families and in children typically are related to the family system.That means that the best results happen when there is significant parental involvement and buy-in. We will suggest certain actions you can take in terms of your parenting, but we understand that ultimately the responsibility lies in your methods.

Do you work with divorced parents?

We do work with divorced parents. We will collaborate primarily with whatever parent is bringing the child to therapy. If you have joint custody that may mean we work with parents on alternatinating weeks. If the parents can be civil then they can both be included in group sessions when needed. In any case, we don’t take sides between parental conflicts, and prefer to have a parenting plan in place when it comes to implementation of therapy solutions. Please note that our therapists are mandated court reporters. We must report any instances of abuse, hurt, neglect, financial exploitation or serious threats children make to others or themselves.

Which therapist is right for me?

Let us help you find the right therapist. Many of our therapists specialize in anxiety, so view our profiles online to learn more about specific counselors specializing in anxiety treatment or speak with our Client Care Coordinator, who can help you with a personalized match to the right therapist for your needs. 

Finding the RIGHT therapist is the most important piece of reaching your goals.

How long does Therapy take?

Counseling works best within the framework of a safe and trusted therapeutic alliance. Since it takes time to build this relationship with your therapist, we recommend committing to weekly sessions for at least 8 weeks. Research shows that consistency adds to the positive outcomes of therapy. Once you reach your 8-week goal, you and your therapist can discuss a frequency of sessions that will support your continued success.

I’ve never done therapy before...What can I expect in my sessions?

The unknown of anything new can make it scary. Especially if you’ve never been to counseling before. Let us show you the “roadmap” so you know what to expect:

1st Session:
This first meeting is an introduction for both you and your counselor. Your therapist will explain the therapy process and go over the specifics of informed consent. From there, your therapist will gather additional information about your history, current circumstances, as well as struggles and personal strengths, which will help them to define a treatment plan that aligns with your goals. 

This is also the chance for you to learn more about your therapist. We encourage you to ask questions and get to know them; the relationship you build with your therapist will be the most important part of your work together. 

2nd Session and Future sessions:
In your weekly sessions, you and your therapist will use evidenced based therapies such as CBT, Mindfulness or ACT, to help you address your symptoms of worry, stress and anxiety. For anxiety rooted in trauma, or related to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), your therapist may recommend treatment with EMDR.

Closing Sessions:
Our goal is for you to find relief from your anxiety and be ready to “graduate” from therapy. In the last few sessions with your therapist, you will review your initial goals, the progress you have made, and solidify your new skills for managing anxiety in your life. At your last meeting together, you’ll have the time for the meaningful goodbye with your therapist.

How much does Anxiety Counseling cost?

We strive to create access to high quality mental healthcare for everyone. Our therapists’ rates vary by experience and specialized training. We will make every effort to find the right therapist for you. 

Acuity Counseling also accepts health insurance and offers both in-network and out-of-network coverage. 

We are in-network partners with: 

Aetna

Cigna

First Choice

Premera Blue Cross

* We do not participate in EAP plans

Why don’t you only use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

While we use CBT as an aspect of our therapeutic approaches, we know that every individual is different. No one responds to any method perfectly, so by employing many techniques we are able to provide the most personalized support. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is talked about in relation to mental health so often because it has a large body of research behind it and is easy to replicate across all cases. This is why you may hear it called “evidence based,” which it certainly is. However, we use other evidence based therapies in conjunction with CBT in our therapies.

How can I evaluate whether therapy is working?

Acuity is unique because we use research backed questionnaires to assess your mood, goals and progress. From time to time we may share with you your progress on these reports, “you report being angry 30% less days than when you started therapy,” and then ask what your goals for the future may be. We have found that by having clients set their own goals and following up regularly we can achieve better results.

If I go to Acuity for help, does it mean there is something wrong with me?

No. We try to break this stigma constantly.

Many people come to Acuity just to gain a better perspective of themselves and work on some issues that they are having in their daily life. There aren’t many places for people to vent and seek honest help, so we provide that space for people as well as psychologically informed advice to better cope with life’s persistent problems. Even if you have a mental health diagnosis there is nothing wrong with you. We all experience and react to the world in different ways, it’s hard to argue that there is anything wrong with that.

Is medication used in conjunction with your therapy?

Some conditions for some people are best treated with the help of medication. If we find it necessary after our initial assessments, we will discuss types of medication, your comfort with it, and the pros and cons of medication with you. If you so choose, we can refer you to the appropriate psychopharmacologist in the area. If you are already on medication, we will coordinate treatment with your primary provider.

How long does therapy take?

Counseling works best within the framework of a safe and trusted therapeutic alliance. Since it takes time to build this relationship with your therapist, we recommend committing to weekly sessions for at least 8 weeks. Research shows that consistency adds to the positive outcomes of therapy. Once you reach your 8-week goal, you and your therapist can discuss a frequency of sessions that will support your continued success.

Break-free and begin your journey to

Your best
YOU.

There is a future life where trauma does not control your day. Imagine yourself feeling calm, confident and ready to handle new situations with ease. The tools to living the life you have always envisioned are here, at your fingertips.

Acuity Counseling can help.

 

Schedule your therapy session online

Reach out directly to our Client Care Coordinator for questions, matching, and scheduling:

Online Counseling

Our services are also available online through Zoom. Telehealth/Online counseling gives you the opportunity to explore your challenges in life without complicating your daily schedule.

Learn Tips for Managing Anxiety

Mindcology Blog

Read about how anxiety and it’s symptoms can impact every area of life. From recognizing the signs of anxiety, tips and tricks for lowering Social Anxiety and even more information on how to get help for severe anxiety symptoms such as OCD.

The information you need is at your fingertips with these resources written by our expert team of therapists.

GET STARTED

If you have questions and would like to talk about any of our counseling services, please reach out for a complimentary phone consultation or send us an email.

First Session Within 72 Hours of Calling

We book you an appointment within 24 hours of contacting us (usually less) and make sure your first appointment is soon after.

Seattle: 206-922-2376

Bellevue: 425-549-3242

Bothell/Woodinville: 206-910-9476

info@acuitycounseling.net

for Billing questions call:
206-922-2298

SCHEDULING

Use our Online Scheduling Tool or call our office to schedule your appointment, or for any changes regarding scheduling.

Schedule by phone: 206-910-9476

INSURANCE

Counseling services are often covered in full or in part by your health insurance company. Acuity Counseling proudly accepts most major health insurance plans.

Aetna

First Choice

HMA

Lifewise

Meritain

Cigna

GEHA

Kaiser Core/PPO

Sound Health & Wellness

Premera Blue Cross

We do not participate
in EAP Plans

Acuity Counseling Locations

Seattle

Bellevue

Bothell/Woodinville

BELLEVUE, WA
Cascade Place II
12729 Northup Way, Suite 6
Bellevue WA 98005
(206) 910-9476

SEATTLE, WA
Plaza 600 Building
600 Stewart St, Suite 1228
Seattle WA 98101
(206) 910-9476

BOTHELL/WOODINVILLE
Falcon View
12900 NE 180th St, Suite 160
Bothell, WA 98011
(206) 910-9476

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