Family Therapy with Children and Teens

Sometimes our families drive us nuts, when all we want is harmony and close relationships.   While you can do excellent individual therapy and help your family relationships, groundbreaking research done by Partners in Healings’ Dr. Deborah Simmons and University of Minnesota professor Dr. William J. Doherty has found that therapy is faster and more effective when more than one person is in the room.  Working together, your family can develop new patterns and live happily with shared goals. 

Family therapy is just as it sounds—therapy with two or more family members in the same room at the same time.  This can be parents and children, siblings of any age, or adult children and parents.  Every person is influenced by the family-of-origin, the family in which you have been raised.  Each family has its own beliefs, personalities, communication patterns, and acceptable—or unacceptable—behaviors.  Existing family patterns can be supportive of each person or not so helpful. Family therapy can be useful to:

  • Resolve behavior problems in children and adults
  • Soothe anxiety or depression that can affect a number of family members
  • Address one or more family members with an eating disorder
  • Change angry behavior
  • Help with parent-child conflict
  • Help with school problems, including learning disabilities
  • Find harmony with a child on the autism spectrum or ADHD
  • Help with stepfamily togetherness
  • Help to cope when a family member has an illness. 
  • Prepare children for life changes like divorce, remarriage, or the death of a family member
  • Change abusive patterns
  • Improve communication patterns in the family
  • Develop problems solving skills and set goals

The family therapist may see everyone at one session and an individual at another session.   Everyone gets a voice in family therapy.  Our family therapy team for children, teens and their families includes:

Harriet Kohen, MSW, LICSW has an extensive and rich background in the Twin Cities working with school age children, adolescents and their families experiencing anxiety, including phobias and habit problems, depression, chronic illness, and recovering from traumatic events.  She integrates clinical hypnosis, expressive writing, art, and story-telling to facilitate self-expression and emotional healing.

Lois Fischer, MA, LMFT has expertise with teens and their families in treating a variety of concerns including depression, adolescent issues, anxiety disorders/phobias, anger management, bipolar disorder, grief and loss, oppositional defiant disorder, and parenting issues.  She has training in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), and clinical hypnosis.