What kind of counselling help are you looking for? 

Examples of family issues I can help you with:

1. Acute support: transition or crisis.

Is your family experiencing a transition such as a move, a new baby or family member, kids starting school, a parent returning to work or school, or a crisis such as a relationship ending or changing, a death in the family, sudden illness or disability or other planned or unexpected stressors?  At this kind of time, everyone in the family needs more support than usual, and the challenges can pile up.  Although these times can be especially hard on children, they are a part of life and children can learn resilience from how their parent(s) handle it and support the family during this time. 

I can provide much needed support for you as a parent so that you are able to help your family with the hard times and all come out the other side stronger and more connected.

2. Supporting emotions: triggers, patterns, and dynamics — what is underneath?

Feelings, feelings, feelings... As parents our days are full of feelings, theirs, ours, and other peoples.  As a parent you may be feeling challenged trying to understand and support your children's feelings and your own.  Supporting emotions can lead to less behavioural problems and better emotional and physical health.  For children, being able to express their feelings with their parents is a cornerstone of good attachment.  It can help your child(ren) feel more safe and secure, more connected to you, and as a result more cooperative and easy going. 

I can provide space to support, listen, and understand your feelings as a parent so that you are in good shape for understanding and attending to your child's full range of feelings. As well, I can help you understand the feelings that are underneath any difficult behaviours and how to support these .

3. New Babies, Crying babies: emotional support for this challenging phase.

Parents of new babies need lots of support!  Having a new baby can be exhausting and challenging for the whole family!  Having a baby who is more sensitive or cries a lot is even more of a challenge.  We can't always stop the crying but learning to listen and understand baby's physical and emotional needs will build strong foundations of emotional health for their whole life.  In order to do this new parents need lots of physical and emotional support themselves.  Thinking of options for support and care for yourself and the whole family is imperative. 

I can support you to care for your new baby's physical and emotional needs as well as your own during this challenging and exhausting time.  You can make it through!

4. Parenting together: relationship management, conflict — who is your village? Build support network — how to have these conversations?

Parenting is such a huge job and we all need help! Whether you are parenting solo, with a partner, ex-partner, or other co-parent, the relationships between adults can be stressed as well. Whether from disagreements about parenting decisions, or just plain exhaustion, it can be tough to prioritize your adult relationships and really work together to have the family life you want.

I can help facilitate conversations between parents and co-parents about your values, parenting styles, decision-making, and other challenges all with the goal of helping you understand each other better and to plan how to make decisions and support yourselves and each other as you parent together.

5. Parents who find themselves stuck with a particular problem: get an outside perspective, get help with getting back on track.

Are you feeling stuck with your child in a particular area?  As parents we handle many challenges each day and come up with endless elegant solutions that work for us and our children.  Some difficulties we have with our children just end up stuck.  You may try many different solutions and nothing works, what worked for one child may not work for another, you may feel discouraged or hopeless, and decide that your child is the problem or that you are a bad parent.  I do not believe there are problem children or bad parents! But some problems just need more help than you have found yet!  You definitely deserve more help and support in stuck places.  Parents may have childhood experiences of their own that are contributing to the stuckness, or they may need space for their feelings about just how hard this place is. 

I can provide a friendly non-judgmental listening ear about the problem, an outside perspective about stuckness, and ideas about how to support both you and your child in working through the problems.

6. Thinking about parenting? Identify values, a family vision, help craft a parenting manifesto!

Are you thinking about parenting? How will you do it? Who will be involved?  Where will you get support?  Doing this kind of preparation before you welcome a baby or child into your family can help you and your parenting partner(s) prepare for this exciting journey! 

I have 25 years of personal and professional experience with alternative families and parenting arrangements and l love to see the many wonderful ways that we can create loving, nurturing, families.  I can work with you to explore family of origin influences, your values, dreams, and goals for your family.