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Until proven otherwise, a person is doing the best he or she can do (Plan A). Any person’s Plan A is usually quite “functional” by meeting needs and wants. It is also possible that one’s Plan A is neither in the person’s developmental best interests nor compatible with the Plan A held by significant others (e.g., friends, work cohorts, spouse, offspring). For example, a person might love his or her work and greatly enjoy the time spent at the office. However, a spouse and children might view this time as a rejection of them and view the devotion to work as “workaholic” behavior. The vast majority of problems are played out relationally; if we lived in caves by ourselves, life would indeed be simpler and significantly less troublesome.

Change (Plan B) is achievable but requires hard work, a capacity to look beyond oneself (a “just do it” mentality doesn’t apply here), and the courage to work in counter-intuitive ways. “Change” is defined as amended relational patterns and/or the development of new skills and abilities. Resistance to change is both understandable and predictable throughout the course of treatment.

Because “change” is so hard earned, the collaboration between the individual and the therapist assumes an absolutely crucial role. Most people don’t get married after the first date; we feel the same way about therapy. We generally ask prospective “clients” to join us in a five-session “mutual diagnosis” process. As the term suggests, this process affords all parties the opportunity to determine compatibility, clarify the issues, identify strengths, and formulate goals and an initial treatment strategy.

The mutual diagnostic process generally allows a more customized treatment plan with its components pulled from the various services we offer:

 
  Treatment approaches:
  • Short-term therapy, long-term therapy, solution-focused therapy, play therapy, couples therapy, family therapy
 
  Other “Change” mediums:
  • Mediation (couples, family; See Mediation)
  • Parent training (in the office and in the home environment)
  • Life coaching
  • “Weekend intervention” (blocks of four hour meetings on both Saturday and Sunday involving adult children—and possibly, parents— that address issues avoided during childhood, e.g., unabated alcoholism, abuse, neglect, etc.)
  • Psychopharmacological component (medication, overseen by a consulting psychiatrist)
  • Applied-learning activities (See Turn The Cube)
  • Evaluation by means of norm-reference testing
 
  Service format:
  • In office meetings for the individual, couples, family, and family-of-origin units
  • Collateral meetings (significant others brought into treatment in the role as consultant/historian)
  • Participation in school-based meetings if appropriate
  • Home visits (for assessment purposes and filming prospective Plan B efforts)
  • Emergency coverage (provided 24/7 by means of pager)
 
  Ages served:
  • Children (starting with age 3), adolescents, and adults