275 Bloomfield Ave
Caldwell, NJ 07006

©2019 by Marisa Giuliani-O’Keefe.

Family Therapy

The word FAMILY can mean different things to different people. Family members may live together, or live separately depending on the situation. Parents may be a unit or sometimes they may be separated from one another. Regardless, of how the dynamics are situated in a family unit all members need to be heard and understood in a caring, empathic way. The family therapy process includes everyone and anyone living in the home coming to therapy. The first session is a time to meet one another and outline what is causing trouble to each member and how they “see” the problem. It is essential to learn how to listen and respect each other’s opinion while creating a parental hierchary and setting goals. Family work teaches parents how to make boundaries and create behavioral rules, as well as, understand their children’s struggles in the home environment. Working with families is some of the most rewarding work that I do because it is the family that is the key to every social structure.

Co-Parenting

Unfortunately, some relationships cannot be saved.  As a matter of fact, at least 50% of marriages will not survive in the United States.  This does not mean that the entire family needs to be destroyed in the process or that the lives of the children have to become a hardship.  The choice to use your children as a weapon, is yours, and it is my hope that this is a decision that you decide against.  Children to not want their parents to get a divorce, nor do they want to have their lives disruptive and interrupted. Using children as pawns in the battle for power is a mistake that too many separating adults make.  I caution against this and its lasting effects on your children.

 

The goal of co-parenting therapy is to protect the children at all costs.  This means moving to a more intellectualized place in the relationship with your spouse.   Choosing to act with mindfulness and mature over aggression and hostility.  Many divorces begin amicably, but almost all of them become contentious as the process continues.  Custody issues and financial liabilities destroy the communication and hurt feelings and resentments begin to color the interactions.  These behaviors become translated to the children in the form of fighting, speaking badly about the other parent, or simply losing patience when the child is in your care. Do not become a statistic!  Do not make your children pay for your relationship issues! I will teach you to navigate this very difficult time and move through it with maturity.

 

Most co-parenting therapy session are an hour and only last for about a month. When both partners commit to “keeping the children safe” and understand the best practices, change occurs quickly.  I believe this is one of the best investments you can make for your child’s life.  Children can survive divorce with few scars, if the parents keep them at the forefront of their minds and hearts.

 

45-minute session $175

60-minute session $200

 

If parents are using this time as pre-mediation or to create a custody agreement a legal fee applies: 

60-minute session $300

Millennials

One of the most difficult times in the life cycle of a family is the teenage years.  Children can be unpredictable, irritable, and/or sullen.  Many parents contact me in a bewildered state because they just do not know how to navigate the behavior or because they are so confused and they are looking for guidance.  It is painful for parents when they feel that their children are in emotional pain.

Working with young women is one of the areas of therapy I am most passionate about!  Change can be observed much more quickly than in other areas of therapy and helping girls feel a sense of empowerment and confidence can change their perspective on life.  Therapy is generally weekly, with parents coming in for family work about once per month.

Reconciliation Counseling

Many families go through traumatic events at some point in their lives. Relationships break-up, children become estranged from their parents, and siblings disconnect. Although, these events can be life altering and very difficult for all parties involved, they do not have to mean the end of a family system.

Family reconciliation therapy is the quickest, most effective way to address deep rooted issues. My office provides a safe and nurturing environment, free of blame and judgement for healing to take place. Must reconciliation therapy sessions take between 5 and 10 sessions and can be the difference between eroded relationships and the promise of a healthy future relationship.

Reconciliation counseling, which may or may not be mandated by the court system is deeper, more intensive work than regular therapy. In most situations, significant notes and reporting to the court or to estranged/ divorced spouses occurs. This type of therapy normally requires a significant retainer. I do not require a retainer, but the sessions are billed at $350 per hour.