Families + Substance Abuse

Concierge Families: Families can be your greatest source of support and also your greatest source for stress. Living in the Bay Area puts exceptional stressors on nearly every member of today's families, and it can be difficult to find time to get support for yourself and your loved ones. With Breaking Ground's unique approach to family therapy, accommodating your busy life can actually assist me in helping you faster and more effectively. I work with your family members at varying frequencies and in different configurations to help address overarching challenges as well as work to repair dyadic relationships and personal problems. By working with multiple systems within the family, I get a more comprehensive picture of what the family struggles with, and I work from dynamic perspectives to help improve the family relationship. In this way, I can break beneath the visible surface problems and also get to more deeply rooted issues that motivate problematic family behaviors.

What this looks like: I will see your family for family therapy for the first several weeks to formulate a basic assessment and help identify general problems and treatment goals. After I get a better sense of family dynamics, I will meet with you or other family members for continued family sessions, however, depending on what the family needs any given week, I can instead - or in addition to - meet for individual sessions, marital couple sessions, modified family sessions with just two or three family members, or a family session where just the siblings come in. The frequency* and configuration is generally driven by you and what best fits the family in the moment, though I may make suggestions when appropriate. In this way, I can help you with day to day challenges while simultaneously learning more about how your family interacts with one another. This allows me to get a better sense of how to address some of the underlying issues that may not be verbalized on a daily basis.

*It is recommended that at least one family member attends sessions weekly for the first 3 months of services.

Families with Substance Use: Substance use in one or more family members or a family affected by a past history of substance use can be a difficult and painful journey. Current research suggests that although there are many genetic factors that contribute to substance use disorder, there are also often underlying social and environmental factors that can make it difficult to stop or decrease use.

I operate from a harm reduction approach to provide individual and family support to those impacted by substance use. The term 'Harm Reduction' means I work with the individual and family to gradually decrease their substance use while simultaneously building up healthy coping skills to support and help replace the underlying motivations for using. In our work together, we will set attainable goals to gradually and safely step down from substance use. We will examine internal and external triggers, how to safely sit with boredom, how to increase distress tolerance, and how family attachments and life traumas may be acting as a driving force of substance use. The majority of my work in this area is with adolescents and young adults who are currently using substances, or have been impacted by other family members who have or are currently using substances.

I do not work with severe cases of substance use, however if I cannot accommodate your situation, I can provide you with outside referrals better suited to support your needs.