Family Therapy

When families come into my office, there are often feelings of suspicion, hurt, betrayal and other painful feelings that they bring in with them. In addition there are topics that each member knows will be discussed that have not been talked about out in the open before. It takes courage for a family to come to therapy and to be willing to face one another and discuss topics that may hurt or initially feel embarrassing.

The first question that I each family member is “If the sessions go well and they feel that therapy was a good use of their time, what is different for them?” Often people will say “I won’t feel ……….”.  I encourage them to imagine what they will feel. It is important to know what each of them is longing to be different.  I am also curious about the incident that finally brought everyone into therapy? In addition I asked who is an ally and which family member does each family member feel the most vulnerable around? How does  this impact what happens at home? Families are the lens with which we learn to operate out in the world. Our original defenses and vulnerabilities are usually developed and first expressed within the context of the family. These same vulnerabilities and defenses can also be healed and transformed in the context of family therapy.

A wise person once said that no matter how tempting, we can’t give up on our families. No matter where we go or how far away, we carry them around inside.

Jeannette York, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Burbank, California


Healthy Relationships

One of the characteristics that I notice in the couple’s that I see, is a tendency to criticize each other when all they really need to do is make a request. If a person comes from a family of origin that is highly critical, they often learn to criticize to get their needs met. This leads to distrust, anger, hurt and anything but a loving relationship. An example of this, is one partner says to the other partner, “you never empty the dishwasher. You just don’t care about how hard I work.” Chances are the partner cares very much about the other, but has not been asked to empty the dishwasher. It is impossible to criticize a person into being or doing what you want them to do. It might work temporarily, but the price paid is hurt and less closeness . The next time you are tempted to criticize your partner, simply ask them to do what you are complaining about. Even if you have made the request before. Remember: Behind every complaint is a request.

Jeannette York, LMFT

Private Practice Located in Burbank California


Breaking Up and A Broken Heart

If you have ever had a broken heart, you know that the term refers to real physical pain. When we experience heartbreak, the muscles in the chest constrict from the anxiety and heartache. It truly feels like the heart is breaking.

The loss of someone we love is not only losing the loved one, but also the dreams about the life that you planned together. If the two of you had mutual friends, sometimes, there is a loss of friendship. If you shared a home together, it can be the loss of a house or apartment. If you were close to his or her family that can also be a part of the heartache.

Healing from a break up takes time. Even if you are the one to initiate the break up, the pain can still be enormous. The following tips can help you to heal:

A. Let your self grieve. When the feelings come, do not drink or numb them. Crying, feeling anger, sadness, having trouble sleeping, are all normal responses.

B. Reach out to Friends. People understand a broken heart. Most of us have experienced it at sometime in our life.

C. Take time for yourself. Get a massage, haircut, manicure or whatever makes you feel pampered. Go to the gym, take a walk, go to the beach, the point is to focus on you.

D. When you are ready, assess the experience and process what you learned. This may take a few weeks or months. However no matter how bad or wonderful the relationship was, there were things to learn.

E. Accept or plan dates. Do not talk about your ex on the dates. Find out what your date has to offer and simply have a good time.

F. Remember, that healing is a process. It takes time to heal. A broken heart will get better and you will love and be loved again.

Jeannette York, LMFT