Family Therapy

Helping to stabilize, support, and strengthen families so everyone can thrive

Understatement of the Millenium: Parenting. Is. Hard.

There’s so much more to it than you ever expected when you first brought your child home. And it turns out that each parent comes pre-loaded with their own family norms and childhood baggage – stuff you probably didn’t even realize was still in there (it can be a genuine shock the first time you hear your own mother or father’s words pop out of your mouth in a stressful moment!). 

If you're part of a blended family, you have the added challenge of figuring out how to co-parent with your ex-partner and stepparents and manage relationships with and between stepchildren (click here to download my free Respectful Communication Cheat Sheet (PDF) for divorced co-parents).

Then there are the books, the articles, the social media posts, even your well-meaning (probably) in-laws, all insisting that if you don’t follow this approach or that theory, you’re failing as a parent and your kids will pay the price.

Learning to effectively co-parent can be one of the hardest – and often most frustrating and emotional – parts of parenthood and marriage.

From the everyday questions:

  • How should we discipline our kids?
  • How will we make holiday magic?
  • Who will make the kids' doctor appointments and keep track of school forms? 
  • When and how should we talk to our kids about sex?

to the tougher stuff:

  • Is my child's behavior "normal" or should I be worried?
  • How will we pass along two different cultural or religious traditions?
  • Is it OK to argue in front of the kids?
  • What values do we want to impart to our kids?
  • Is it OK for a stepparent to discipline our children?
  • How do we tell our kids we're getting divorced?

...this parenting business isn't easy!

Any good business starts with a solid plan, but when it comes to the "business" of running a family, many couples are winging it. I will work with all of you to build a unique Family Constitution grounded in your family’s shared values, parenting styles, and personalities.

Your constitution will help you answer the toughest parenting questions by helping you identify your shared values and build upon the strengths you each bring to your family. The result? Increased confidence and clarity for the parents, and a greater sense of calm, security, and fun for the entire family.

Once you and your partner (and stepparents, and older kids...) have agreed on the “big” stuff - your shared values, household rules, roles, boundaries, parenting philosophies – then figuring out those individual issues as they arise gets a whole lot easier.

You can enjoy this parenting journey, together – you just need a plan.

Does Your Family Need Some Support?

Two interlocking circles with this text around them: Whole Picture Approach - More than just talk

A "Whole Picture" Approach to Family Therapy

Traditional therapy tends to be Oprah-style: “Problems in your family? YOU get a therapist! YOU get a therapist! That’s right, YOU get a therapist too!”

Individual therapy certainly has its place, but my “whole picture” approach sees the family unit itself as the “client” – not just the family member making the most waves. Together, we will work on the me and we relational issues of the family unit, with the goal of repairing and strengthening the family permanently.

After a brief phone consultation where you’ll explain your family’s challenges, we’ll complete a 4-session assessment, which will include meeting together and individually with various family members in whichever configurations make most sense for your family and the situation. The resulting family “diagnosis” will direct us towards stabilization and in creating your custom Family Constitution that will enable all family members to thrive.

Your love for your children is why you do all the things you do—shouldn’t you be at your best when you do it? See how working with me can help parents create the conditions necessary for successfully and securely raising children—all while enjoying the ride.

Take the first step towards strengthening your family.

Schedule a free phone consultation to see if I'm the right fit for you!

Free Download: Respectful Communication "Cheat Sheet" for Divorced & Co-Parenting Couples

Cover of Sandy Wolf Psychotherapy Respectful Communication Cheat Sheet: 3 Proven Communication Formulas for Divorcing or Divorced Couples. Above the title is a graphic with two talk bubbles in different shades of blue. Below the title is an illustration of a man and woman sitting and talking at a dining table.

Is communicating with your ex-spouse stressful? You're not alone. All divorced couples struggle in their own unique ways, but their universal characteristic is a breakdown in communication. While your romantic relationship may be over, if you have kids together, you're still going to have to communicate and make decisions together for years to come. Don't you owe it to them and to yourselves to learn a better way?

This cheat sheet shares 3 proven communication formulas that will help you and your ex communicate with less stress, animosity, and frustration. Using these consistently will help you resolve common co-parenting issues, promote a greater sense of collaboration, and perhaps most importantly, model respectful communication for your children.

If you and your ex could use more guidance and support in navigating post-divorce life, I can help. 

Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

- Kahlil Gibran