Internal Connections Counseling of West Michigan

PO Box 97 Casnovia MI 49318 PH: (616) 690-0652 Email: michelle@internalconnectionscounseling.com

Website: www.internalconnectionscounseling.com

Michelle Woodison-Evans LMSW, CAADC

Please call 616-690-0652 or use our Contact form to get started on a healthier happier you.

 

One of my favorite family analogies is that families are like a mobile over a baby’s crib – you can’t do anything to even one of those little stars, clowns, or hippopotamuses’ without affecting all the rest. The same is true with families. I often explain in family therapy, everybody is affected by the things that happen to each other – both good things and bad things – because you are all connected.

 

Family therapy isn’t always requested when making the first appointment. In fact, people often don’t know it’s an option, or believe it could be helpful.

 

“What do you mean we could learn better ways of communicating? We’ve lived in the same house for years and we talk all the time. I know how she feels, she tells me over and over again every time we get in a fight…” Then there’s the classic, “Can’t you just fix him – he’s the problem…” Families don’t exist in a vacuum, nor do family problems. Our behaviors influence one another, and with good healthy communication we can grow in positive, healthy ways.

 

Families can be challenged in numerous ways that are sometimes difficult and painful:

  • * substance abuse problems with a partner, parent, or child (and associated legal problems )
  • * child and teen school problems
  • * child teen defiance and disobedience
  • * communication problems
  • * parenting skill deficits
  • * death of a loved one
  • * mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, PTSD , Bipolar Disorders
  • * financial problems

 

Family counseling is often very helpful in re-building lines of communication, enhancing relationships, improving parenting skills, and learning conflict-resolution skills.

 

Often people will understand when I explain that we habitually have parts of us that get stuck. Frequently an irritated part of one person triggers responses from an angry part of another. Many times times they are actually defending and protecting a fearful part of themselves. The tendency will be either to cover up the fear behind signs of anger through some type of aggression (verbal, emotional, or physical) or to react in fear, fleeing and hiding. This, in turn, triggers an escalation of irritation to anger in the other and it may become a yelling, screaming & possibly assaultive match.

 

In fact, it is not until there is a safe place where the voices of parts are allowed to emerge (softly) and are met with calm respect that problem-solving begins. At first there needs to be a calming period. I often teach and encourage relaxation skills prior to this point.

 

Depending on specific needs, I may teach parenting skills, active listening skills, and basic self-nurturing . As most of us have found a critical part inside of us, it is important to balance that with a nurturing part that is able to fill us with hope and encouragement. As parents get in touch with this part, it becomes easier to be a nurturing parent to their children.

 

Please call 616-690-0652 or use our Contact form to get started on a healthier happier you.

Couples Counseling | Substance Abuse Counseling | Family Counseling  | Mental Health Counseling | Contact US

PO Box 97 Casnovia MI 49318 PH: (616) 690-0652 Email: michelle@internalconnectionscounseling.com

Michelle Woodison-Evans LMSW, CADC

Serving West Michigan
Grand Rapids MI | Muskegon MI | Newaygo MI | White Cloud MI | Fremont MI | Greenville MI |  Sparta MI  | Grant MI | Cedar Springs MI | Grand Haven MI | Whitehall MI |  Kent City MI  | Howard City MI | Ravenna MI | Coopersville MI