Articles by Cherie Marriott, family therapy, Uncategorized

10 Things to Expect in Adult Family Therapy Sydney

Family Therapy can reduce conflict, ease resentment and shift long-standing patterns of behaviour in adult families. But what will actually happen when you attend sessions with a trained and skilled Family Therapist?

Here are 10 things you can expect from Family Therapy Sydney for your adult family:

You will feel heard – Family Therapy sessions give everyone a chance to be fully heard. In the first session your Family Therapist will get to know you by asking about your concerns and exploring what’s been happening in the family. By gently guiding the conversation, the Family Therapist will make sure you feel valued and understood.

You will feel safe – Family Therapy sessions are structured so that each person has a chance to express their thoughts and feelings without interruption. Your Family Therapist might suggest the entire family group attends some sessions, but other sessions involve two people or even one person. The process ensures that everyone feels safe and is supported to talk openly.  

You’ll get a chance to say how you’d like your relationships to look and feel – The Family Therapist takes an active stance to pinpoint individual goals for each family member and joint goals for the whole unit. The focus is on looking ahead and encouraging you to think about how you want your relationships to be in the future. 

You will be given a map of the work – by the end of the first session you will be given feedback on what your Family Therapist thinks is going on in the family and a map of the work ahead. It will help you feel confident about the process.   

The work will be productive – the Family Therapist will keep the sessions productive and on track. This type of therapy is focussed on outcomes. Your Therapist will identify the roles individual family members play in the family ‘system’. They’ll reflect on patterns of behaviour that have become entrenched in your family, and then gently challenge you all to relate in new ways.

Conflict will be managed – your Family Therapist is skilled at managing conflict in the room, and will show you how to talk about difficult topics in a productive way. You will also learn tactics and strategies for managing your own emotions. Clients often tell us the skills they learn in Family Therapy are useful in other areas of life.

You will communicate better – Family Therapy is a great way to learn how to communicate in a healthy and non-toxic way. You will be shown how to hold constructive multi-way conversations, and how to reduce unhealthy use of text messages, phone calls and social media posts. You will also get advice on how to manage tricky social situations.

You’ll learn what to expect when older parents separate and re-partner – Family Therapy Sydney can offer direct help with what to expect from your parents when they separate later in life and how adult children respond when this happens. You will learn skills to successfully navigate this difficult transition.

Past hurts will be addressed – long-standing wounds between family members can be repaired. 

Cut-offs and estrangements are worked on – Family Therapists are highly skilled to work with adult families where there has been a cut off or estrangement. You will be guided through a process to repair the cut-off and understand why it has occurred.

If you think you and your family could benefit from Family Therapy, please contact Sydney Couple and Family Specialists on 02 8968 9397. For family members who live far away, we also offer online Family Therapy which involves bringing people together using a secure video platform.

About Cherie

Cherie specialises in family and couples counselling in the areas of relationship conflict, grief, life transitions, separation and divorce, childhood trauma, and complex adolescent issues.

Cherie is a reflective and insightful therapist.  She is fair and supportive, and works hard to help her clients find solutions. Clients say Cherie is gentle but firm when she needs to be and they feel comfortable with her.

Cherie brings years of couple and family experience to her clinical practice. She has a particular professional interest in blended families, foster/adopted families, rainbow families, and those with teenagers presenting with worrying behaviours such as self-harm, suicide ideation, gaming/social media addictions, and mental health diagnoses.

She has extensive experience with separated families around child access and Family Court matters.

“People are often anxious about attending therapy and that’s completely understandable. Please know that it’s my job to provide the necessary structure to give everyone a chance to be fully heard and understood.  I will encourage you to think about what you want your relationships to look like in the future, and together we will work towards these goals. With the right support, you can move through what might feel ‘stuck’ right now.”

Families and couples who come to see Cherie can expect to leave sessions with a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics, tools to improve communication and the confidence to move forward.

Qualifications and Professional Membership
Cherie holds a Masters in Psychotherapy and Counselling (WSU), a Diploma in Counselling (WSU) and a Bachelor degree in Communications (CSU).  She also holds a certificate in Gottman Method Couples Therapy.

She is an accredited group facilitator for the Melbourne University’s Tuning into Teens parenting program, and the Jacaranda Project for adult survivors of child abuse. In previous roles, Cherie was a committee member of the Children and Adolescent Sexual Assault Counsellors’ network and was a former editor of Breaking Free – the monthly newsletter of the Blue Knot Foundation, the peak body supporting survivors with complex trauma.

Cherie is a Clinical Member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and a member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT).

“When we re-married and tried to bring our families together it got horribly messy and our son started acting out.  Cherie helped us to see what was going on.  She listened and validated us, and offered practical advice on how to be step-parents.  We feel like we’re back on track.” David (47) father of two children and step-dad to 13-year-old son Josh, and Josh’s mum Lucy (44) who saw Cherie Marriott for blended family work.

“Our arguments could get pretty heated but this didn’t seem to faze Cherie.  She stayed calm and stepped in to cool things down.  In the end, something just changed and we stopped spinning our wheels.  I think it was Cherie’s belief in our strengths that made all the difference.”
Samantha (35) and Leon (34) who saw Cherie Marriott for couples counselling.

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