Family Counselling

Family Counselling Services in Calgary

At Sana Psychological, we are here to support you and your teens (age 12+) in having a fulfilling, calm, and productive home that feels comfortable for everyone. From time to time, families encounter challenges with problem behaviours like substance use or media compulsion; disordered eating and exercising behaviours; self-harm; ADHD and learning issues; and/or mental health challenges that impact the serenity of the family. If this is the case for you, we would be happy to help facilitate open dialogue and provide strategies for each of you to improve your quality of life.

We can also support families with adult children who are struggling with issues with Addiction, problem behaviours, and/or mental health challenges. Do not see your family’s situation on here? Please reach out to us and we will let you know if we can help.

Problem Behaviours and mental health treatment

At Sana Psychological, we can help you and your teens navigate the complex world of eating, substance or media problems, as well as mental health issues

It is quite common that youth can exhibit compulsiveness around behaviours anywhere from ages 10-12, with some being earlier and some later and some not at all. Youth tend to have the most access to media (phones, video games, social media), food, and may start to gain access to cigarettes, vaping, chewing tobacco, cannabis edibles, and/or alcohol. In a still developing brain that has a difficult time understanding consequences and that is looking to fit in amongst peers, these behaviors can become risky. Parents have a hard time knowing how to navigate supporting their youth whether they are already experiencing issues in any of these areas or are trying to be proactive. If this fits for you, we would be happy to help you and your family identify the triggers, nature of the problem(s) and strategies that could help each individual as well as the family unit as a whole.

Mental health issues can also start to become more apparent at this age as youth experience increased risk for depression, anxiety, compulsive behaviours, and self-harm. Stress is a key compounding factor and is something that the youth, with support from their family, can learn to navigate in a healthy way.

We can help with these issues, as well as ADHD and learning disabilities, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and behavioral difficulties.

Family Systems Counselling

A lot of people are hesitant to engage in family counselling as they worry about being the focus or identified “problem”. This is not how family counselling is done. We are here to explore how every individual in the family unit is functioning and what the interactions between family members is looking and feeling like. We work with you to understand what is functioning well and where you would like to see change happen. Sessions are a mixture of individual sharing, group communication, as well as feedback and recommendations provided by the clinician to help improve the dynamic in the household.

Family therapy sessions are 90 minutes to allow for communication and sharing by each member of the household as well as time for your clinician to provide real-world and realistic tips and strategies to meet your family where they are at.

How Do You Know if Your Family Would Benefit from Family Counselling?

Families seek out therapy when acute issues and challenges are happening, as well as to be proactive. Some families want to maintain the quality of relationships they have, or prepare for upcoming changes or challenges. Others feel they have no choice but to involve a neutral third party to support them around Addiction and/or Mental Health issues.  Below is an informal self-test to assist you in starting to gauge whether family counselling would be recommended.

Have you struggled with any of the following in the past 6 months?

If you or anyone in your family are experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be a good time to start to explore family therapy. These symptoms tend to appear as issues progress. While they may still be minimal and mild for you, it would be best to get proper support to prevent progression.

Treatment Approach

Family therapy is approached from am empathetic, strengths-based stance with a foundation in Systems Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy and more!

At Sana Psychological, we will work with you to identify goals, strengths, and tools that may be helpful to you in your journey of change. Family systems therapy can be shorter-term interventions to address a single problem or concern; or be longer-term to help the family navigate more complex communication, behavioral, or traumatic issues. We are here to help your family in the ways that make the most sense for you.

Session frequency will be determined collaboratively between you and your clinician. Typically, services may be more frequent initially as we engage in informal assessment and then start treatment. There is always lots to learn about you at the beginning of the counselling process and, the more we know, the better able we can support you. After a few sessions at this frequency, it may be appropriate to expand the time frame to sessions less regularly. Our clinicians are always available for short- or long-term follow-up and, even if you felt better and stepped away from counselling for a while, your family is always welcome back to continue discussion about the same or different issues. Counselling is about the therapeutic relationship and if you feel comfortable with your provider, this is a great place to explore any aspects of life and health that are having an impact.

The initial 1-2 sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about your family, including: Strengths, individual coping and problems, and goals for the therapeutic work. Information is gathered to know about all parts of the family system, not just symptoms. Family counselling can be about more than just symptoms and may involve exploration and development of relationships, self-care, grounding techniques, boundaries, communication, and more.

Your clinician will discuss what they recommend for your situation and discuss with you and your family what to expect during and between appointments. Follow-up appointments generally involve a check-in to see how the family members have been doing with recommendations and how they are responding to treatment, any immediate things that have come up that you want to process, follow-up on any suggestions provided in past appointments, followed by more in-depth exploration of challenges, patterns, and coping. Sessions are active and engaged and may involve a variety of interventions that are based on our clinical experience and customized to your situation. At any point, if the therapeutic approach or goals need to be changed, please speak up and this will be processed. Sessions come from a non-judgmental, compassionate, and empathetic place.

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Sessions are offered in person in Calgary, Alberta or by using Technology Assisted Counselling which can consist of phone or video sessions depending on need and preference. Cost, scheduling, and types of therapy available vary by clinician. More information can be found on our About page. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta or New Brunswick at the time of appointment and may be available throughout Canada if you choose to work with a Certified Canadian Counsellor (CCC). Payment options include cash, debit, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a number of different insurance carriers.

For family therapy, please contact us directly to enquire about services and we will set up an appointment at a time that is convenient for you and your family.

If you have questions about the services offered, do not hesitate to reach out. Email will be the quickest way to get in touch. We aim to respond to emails and phone calls within 1 business day. Each clinicians direct email address is on the About page or you can contact our general mailbox.

Wherever you are at, Sana Psychological is happy to support you in your journey.