Family Therapy

Mental illness affects families and families are crucial to the emotional development of young people. Some would say that family intervention is an essential part of treating mental illnesses in children, adolescents and young adults .

Have you ever wished your family’s communication style could improve? Are the different personalities in your family causing issues in your individual family members? Human beings function best when their close relationships are safe, consistent and supportive. We believe that Family Therapy helps create an accepting and empathic family environment for young people that is essential for their neurological development. That is, a ‘safe base’ in their family or care system, allows young people grow or mature so that they can learn skills like emotional control and executive function (planning, focus, impulse control and empathy).
Our family treatment principles are informed by Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT) and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Your clinician will support you to build or repair family relationships and develop ways to respond to your young person, as well as assist in the challenges that your family is currently facing.  

What is Attachment Based Family Therapy (ABFT)?

“Without ignoring biological factors, ABFT therapists presume that family conflict, detachment, harsh criticism, or more insidious family traumas (e.g., abandonment, neglect, abuse) can cause, maintain, and/or exacerbate depression in adolescents. The impact of these family processes is compounded when parents fail to comfort, support, and help their adolescent identify, discuss, and work through these disturbing experiences. Consequently, adolescents are denied the curative developmental context of secure attachment. ABFT aims to repair this attachment rupture and reestablish the parents’ good care giving and the adolescents’ desire for emotional protection.”

What is Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP)?

Daniel Hughes who developed DDP describes it this way:

“Dyadic developmental psychotherapy (DDP), an attachment‐focused family therapy, has two phases. In the first, the therapist sees the caregivers alone to ensure that they have the motivation and ability to relate with the child in ways that facilitate attachment security. This stage includes a description of the process of the treatment and the caregivers’ central role in the co‐regulation of emotional states, reducing the impact of the trauma on the child, assisting the child in turning to them for comfort and safety, and assisting in the development of new meanings of the trauma itself and its effect on the child’s future. During the joint sessions, the therapist, utilising an intersubjective stance, actively facilitates a dialogue between therapist, child, and caregiver that incorporates the goals mentioned above and, within an open‐and‐engaged conversational tone, helps the child to develop a coherent autobiographical narrative that is not fragmented by terror and shame.”

Ready to make an appointment?

You can call or use webchat if you are feeling suicidal, are affected by suicide or are worried about someone who you think is considering suicide to get support and help. The web chat option does require you to register and create a password, so there are a few steps to this in case this may add to your overwhelm.
If you’re experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide:

Call Kids Help Line any time for any reason if you need help, especially if you are struggling with difficult emotions or are feeling distressed. They are there to talk to you and help. For anyone 25 or under.

The Lifeline phone line is available 24/7. Their text line is open midday to midnight and requires you to answer some pre-survey questions to register to use the service. Text: 0477 13 11 14 Webchat is available 7pm-midnight and can be anonymous, there are questions, but they are not mandatory to answer.

For all ages.

If you have difficulties relating to your gender or sexuality, the Q-life service may be able to help.

Q-Life is a free anonymous phone or webchat service run by Switchboard. The service is open 3pm – midnight every day. They do not offer ongoing counselling, rather they can offer support regarding any issues you are having related to gender or sexuality that you would like to discuss anonymously.

We are hiring! Please see our Careers page for currently open positions.