Seattle Family Counseling

Children and families in Washington are facing a nationwide crisis in mental health care provision. To help address this issue, a new bill has been passed which allows Seattle’s children and families to have greater access to counseling services. 

Mental Health Services in the Emerald City

A broad range of mental health services are available in Seattle. Individual therapists treat anything from trauma and intellectual disability to conditions such as anxiety, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Some therapists focus on LGBT concerns, while others provide animal assisted therapy for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders. 

For children, teens and young adults who are in need, Seattle family counseling represents a vital and powerful resource. However, there are also a range of specialized child therapists and organizations that cater to children specifically. Reach out to your nearest licensed mental health practitioner to find out more.  

Seattle Youth

When it comes to catering for the youth, mental health professionals frequently face a dilemma related to confidentiality. On the one hand, the best way to help a child heal is to offer them the safety of a completely confidential space. On the other hand, giving the parents some knowledge about their child’s mental health status can be important for healing and ensuring safety. 

Increased Mental Health Needs

Research suggests that as many as 1 in 5 children who visit the doctor’s rooms are doing so because of mental illness! What’s being done to address this crisis

Mental Health Obstacles in Seattle

The state of Washington is ranked 34th in terms of access to mental health care for children. Some of the barriers to mental and behavioral health care access include the cost, stigma around mental illness, a lack of education and the fact that children and teenagers may refuse to seek treatment. 

Washington Bill to Help Seattle Youth

The state of Washington has passed a new bill that aims to make mental health care more readily accessible to children. Specifically, the bill gives parents the right to set up an evaluation for a variety of different forms of therapy on behalf of their child. The bill also gives therapists the right to disclose important information about diagnosis and treatment to concerned parents. Especially when that child is in danger. 

Seattle Family Counseling 

Seattle family counseling is an important resource for those who need it. A family counselor is a specially trained and licensed mental health counselor who works with families to improve insight and communication; or to resolve specific conflicts and establish healthier relationships. 

Marriage and Family Counseling

For families who require therapeutic input, there are a wide range of options available. Premarital counseling is a good option for those who want to prepare themselves psychologically for marriage and the tensions and conflicts that are likely to arise therein. Couples therapy is a great tool for increasing insight and connection between the pair; while marriage counseling can assist spouses in learning to resolve conflicts and establishing healthy rules and boundaries going forward. 

Family Therapy Sessions

Family therapists view and work with the entire family as a dynamic system. For this reason, they typically prefer all family members to be present. Even if it seems that certain people are not directly involved in the conflict. 

Sessions typically last anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour. However, during the initial assessment sessions, more time (up to 90 minutes) might be needed. The duration of family therapy varies. For some, 2 or 3 sessions are enough to resolve the conflict. For others, as many as 15 or 20 sessions might be needed to shift ingrained behaviors in order to restore health to the “family system.”

Family Therapists Don’t Take Sides

Family therapists approach the family system as their patient, rather than an individual. They prioritize the needs of the family as a whole. This involves taking a balanced and neutral approach, without judging anyone or taking sides.  

Confidentiality and Trust

Confidentiality and trust are absolutely vital for therapy to work. This is especially true when it comes to children and adolescents, who require that sort of safety in order to open up. Although Seattle parents have the right to access information about their teen’s treatment, it’s important that both therapists and parents remember that the child’s need for privacy must be considered. 

It’s important to note that, the new bill doesn’t give parents the right to learn everything about their teen’s mental health. They only have access to information about, for example, the diagnosis and treatment plan. Ultimately, giving parents access to this sort of information helps to protect and benefit the children. 

How Can a Marriage and Family Therapist Help?

A family therapist helps to preserve the healthy functioning of the family system. They are trained to help resolve a wide variety of problems that affect the family. Such issues may include anything from domestic violence, conflict and infidelity to adult and/or children’s mental health problems such as addiction, eating disorders, anxiety and depression. 

Treatment Planning

Once a family therapist has gained a sense of the family’s needs, they will develop a treatment plan. This is a collaborative process, in which the entire family discusses and negotiates the best way forward. 

Mental Health Counseling 

Family therapy involves mental health counseling, which is the provision of a safe and supportive space in which people can improve their emotional functioning. 

Behavioral Interventions

This involves teaching and encouraging family members to implement healthy ways of behaving and relating. 

“A Much Needed Intervention”

While mental health problems may appear to affect individuals, very often it’s necessary to work with the whole family in order to bring about healthy and sustainable change. The new bill that has recently been passed represents an important step forward for the Seattle community, helping parents and families to truly be able to support the mental health needs of their children.

Meta description: Family therapists provide an invaluable resource for the Seattle community. With the passing of a new bill, parents and therapists now have more power to protect children in the state of Washington. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapists/wa/seattle/family-counseling 
  2. https://www.kuow.org/stories/parents-cheer-final-passage-of-bill-to-help-mentally-ill-teens 
  3. https://crosscut.com/2019/04/wa-youth-are-facing-mental-health-epidemic-legislature-can-help 
  4. https://www.statnews.com/2019/03/13/parents-teenagers-mental-health-washington/ 
  5. http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/ranking-states
  6. https://www.goodtherapy.org/therapists/wa/seattle/family-counseling
  7. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/106/4/e44
  8. http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2019-20/Pdf/Bills/House%20Bills/1874-S2.pdf#page=
author avatar
Angel Rivera
I am a Bilingual (Spanish) Psychiatrist with a mixture of strong clinical skills including Emergency Psychiatry, Consultation Liaison, Forensic Psychiatry, Telepsychiatry and Geriatric Psychiatry training in treatment of the elderly. I have training in EMR records thus very comfortable in working with computers. I served the difficult to treat patients in challenging environments in outpatient and inpatient settings
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