**Co-Family Therapy**

**NEW** Family Therapists With Family Experience

Lakewood Counseling offers a unique and helpful service…Paul Lehrer and Jake Lehrer are a father-son duo who work together. Jake specializes in working with the child/adolescent while Paul meets separately in therapy with the parent(s). In many cases, the therapy is eventually combined so both groups can also have a deeper therapy experience.

Our model provides several advantages which can ultimately make your investment in therapy a more successful one!

  • This model provides parents an opportunity to be a part of their child’s therapy, while still giving the child the privacy they need to open up to their therapist.
  • All too often, just one ‘part’ of the family shows up for therapy. It is our belief that therapy is much more successful and lasting if both parent(s) and children/teenagers are changing together.
  • A major key to successful therapy is “buy-in”.  Many children and adolescents are more willing to invest or “buy in” to therapy when they are assured that their parents will be doing their part as well.
  • Paul and Jake are often able to share their unique experiences as parent-child to help make therapy more relatable and personable.
  • Because Paul and Jake work together, you can be assured that they will be communicating and working together after you leave your therapy session. This ensures your story is heard and prevents the polarization that oftentimes occurs between parents and teens in therapy.
  • This model can be helpful in treating issues related to family conflict, mental health, parenting, school performance, grief and loss, and chemical abuse

Parents: What to Expect

  • This model asks both the parent and teen/young adult to “buy-Into” both doing their part in therapy.  Recognize that parents need to be invested in working side by side with their teens. Your teen’s therapy will be much more effective when the family system as a whole, is invested in change.
  • Parents will be asked to bring a different skill set to the problems presented by the child. The coaching from Paul will be a combination of his 30 years in the field, and the information received from Jake’s work with the teen. Parents will take skills home to practice.
  • This process will support parents in improving the quality of their communication and deepen the ties that bind them to their teens.
  • Parents will have a voice in defining the work done in Jake’s office.  Often parents are excluded from defining the therapeutic process. This input will not jeopardize the teen’s confidentiality.
  • Parents will be advised on reading materials and other community resources to augment the therapeutic process.
  • The purpose of this model is to leverage both skills and cross-generational work, with a degree of creativity and flexibility for the needs of your circumstances.  The process as a whole is to be negotiated upfront.  We expect teens to be skeptical and/or resistant at first. The process itself, as it unfolds, should help them “buy-in”.

Adolescents & Children: What to Expect

  • Set specific goals and expectations for what you want from therapy – for your parents and yourself. You are being asked to “buy-in”, and not just be a passive participant.
  • Utilize what you discuss in therapy in your daily life. Therapy is about CHANGE! You will be given homework or things to try outside of the office.
  • Both you and your parent(s) will probably be asked to compromise on certain issues. Family relationships are optimal when both parents and teens get their needs met.
  • You will be given the privilege of therapist/client confidentiality. Parents will participate in their own work and we will merge that work with yours, when appropriate.
  • You will be heard and understood – your therapist’s job is to help your voice be heard when it may not be. With this comes the expectation to make room for your parents’ perspective as well.
  • Teens are at their optimal mental health when they are able to author their life while maintaining a good relationship with their parents.  This process will support both.