Family Counseling

At Family First Counseling Center (FFCC), we specialize in helping families with adolescent or adult children. All families have their struggles from time to time. It is perfectly normal to have healthy arguments and disagreements. However, sometimes these arguments can feel constant and like no one is listening or understanding each other anymore. The goal of family counselling is to discover the unique challenges and strengths of your family system and to use that knowledge to build a more harmonious home and supportive relational environment.

We’ll work closely with each family member to highlight their strengths, passions, desires, and also what is holding them back from maintaining a healthy and happy relationship with others in the clan. It is crucial that everyone is treated as equally important and integral, for it will enable for the entire group to rebuild and move forwards together without leaving anyone behind to struggle, which would otherwise lead to the destruction of any progression towards a closer-knit family. Our approach is to give everyone their “time in the spotlight” in a relaxed and welcoming environment free of judgment.

Pre-Marital and Marriage Counseling

At FFCC, we are experienced in identifying and addressing marital issues that can otherwise damage relationships. Every marriage has those moments where there are disagreements or struggles — it is entirely normal. However, sometimes these negative moments occur more frequently, making it difficult for either half of the marriage to cooperate with their partner or accept their side of the argument. Marriages can suffer for many reasons, including communication problems, family-related conflicts or disagreements, infidelity, unstable emotions and anger, substance abuse, and more. This means that tension and stress can emerge from several sources. Identifying the cause itself may be one of the most significant challenges a married couple can face together if they aren’t able to work together or see within reason. Marriage counselling is intended to help couples reconnect and develop a deeper understanding, building a stronger and healthier relationship.

We’ll work closely with both partners to learn more about their interests, passions, strengths, and defining characteristics. We will also determine what is preventing them from maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with one another, giving equal, fair treatment and time to both respective sides of the story. By providing both partners with a chance to present their perceptions in an encouraging environment, we can get to the root of the issue and piece together the best way forward.

Couples Counseling

Many couples who come to us have struggled for years having the same argument over and over again, feeling the same dissatisfaction and experiencing the same loneliness in their partnership. It can be difficult to change well-established patterns after such a long time of shaping them. If you are struggling with your relationship, don’t feel connected to your partner, or if either of your trust has been broken, reach out to us today for couples therapy. Research shows that in any relationship it takes five positive interactions to outweigh a single negative experience. Let us work with you to start creating those positives again.

LGBTQ Counseling

Perhaps your relationship has suffered from an affair, poor communication, shame or baggage from previous relationships and you don’t know if it’s possible to rebuild that trust again. Maybe your definition of good communication differs from your partner’s. Or it could be that one of you may have expressed a desire for an open relationship, but you can’t negotiate terms you are both comfortable with. Conversely, perhaps one partner has violated the already-existing terms of the open relationship, and now you don’t know where you stand.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live this way forever – we are counselors and therapists who specialize in LGBTQ couples counseling and can help you and your partner find your way again. Last year, over 60 million couples sought therapy to heal their relationships. You are not alone in your struggle.

Individual Counseling

To first be able to consider others and build a healthy relationship, we first must be able to respect and be happy with our own selves. The true power of emotional bonding and human interaction begins in each of our minds, which can be weighed down with stressors, frustrations, mental illnesses, and even trauma. By taking the time to work out what is holding you back from loving and respecting yourself, you’ll then be able to reflect a newfound sense of optimism and contentment towards building a healthy relationship with another person.

We understand that as individuals our clients all may face their own struggles. Whether you are going through emotional turmoil after the end of a relationship, feel unable to overcome resentment towards someone who has hurt and disappointed you in your life, experience a disconnect to yourself and your surroundings or just long to create better experiences in your life – the key begins with you. The relationship you have with yourself, your acceptance or resistance of your own true colors, creates the foundation for your happiness in every aspect of your life.

Accepting yourself and developing a sense of contentment enables for unprecedented growth from within. It will encourage newfound optimism and quell negative thinking, as well as bolster self-confidence. Interpersonal consideration fosters the ability to openly communicate with newfound respect for others through a respect for oneself. Simply put, if you love yourself, it will be relatively easy to love somebody else as well, which will result in an entirely beneficial, healthy, and intimate relationship built on compassion.

Depression Counseling

Sometimes, we feel unhappy or emotionally imbalanced, sometimes depressed. We FFCC offer, special services to assist with combating your depression, which can otherwise detract from your quality of life. With our expertise and compassion, you can benefit from a therapy process that respects your emotional state, working with you to establish a newfound sense of optimism.

For many, it can become second nature to take everything personally and develop a bias when in a fragile state of mind. Grief, addictions, and other outlying issues may elevate the intensity of your depression, which can lead to an inherent risk of danger to the self, mentally and physically. Working with a professional therapist experienced in depression counselling can protect you from a downward spiral, helping you develop a new way of thinking to encourage optimism.

Anxiety Counseling

It can be difficult for someone to come forward and seek therapy for anxiety, which encompasses different emotions and triggers, many of which are rooted in past experiences or concerns over what lies ahead. Our anxiety counselling services are attentive and focused on the development of a new, positive perspective.

Anxiety can be present due to multiple factors, not least of which include PTSD, long-term suffering from abuse as a youth, pre-existing mental health issues that encourage it, life transitions, hormonal changes, and more. There may be shame or guilt holding an individual back from reaching out to someone willing to listen, which only leaves room for the feeling to fester and worsen.

Discernment Counseling

  • Are you stuck in your relationship and not sure if you should stay or leave?
  •  Does your partner want to end the relationship, but you want to repair it?
  • Have you found yourself going in circles in your relationship and not sure what to do?

Discernment counselling was developed by Bill Doherty Ph.D.  It is designed to be a support when one half of the couple is motivated to recover and improve the relationship and the other is ambivalent about continuing in the relationship. The benefit of Discernment Counselling additionally extends to situations where one partner has decided to exit but the other is not ready to. This therapy technique is used as a tool to help a couple gain clarity about their relationship, gaining a deeper understanding of what transpired in their amalgamation. In Discernment Counselling, the couple meets between three to six times; after each session, it is decided if they should attend another session. If unison of the two individuals is no longer an option, Discernment Counselling can help the couple come to a better understanding as to how they got to this place and make a more amicable divorce process. Moreover, it helps skill the individuals on how to move forward with confidence.

Drug & Alcohol Counseling

Treatment Works. Recovery is Possible. We believe that there are a wide variety of complex issues to consider when it comes to substance use, abuse, diagnosis, and treatment. Each individual situation needs to be carefully reviewed by a skilled professional before concluding what course of action is appropriate. When treatment is needed, one-to-one counseling can play a vital role at different points in the process of regaining a sober life.

While abstinence is certainly an option at all times and for some absolutely necessary, we recognize that each person and situation is unique. For many, decreased use and harm/risk reduction are worthy goals. We also realize that true and lasting change occurs in stages. Your readiness to change and internal motivation are critical. We will work with you regardless of whether your current motivation is high, feels almost non-existent, or it varies greatly from day to day. Change is possible. 

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a gathering of people, often dealing with similar issues, who meet together regularly under the leadership of trained therapists. While you might think group therapy is only for issues like alcoholism, in fact it is used to treat virtually all mental health issues that individual therapy treats.

Groups typically consist of anywhere from five to 15 people led by one or two therapists and meet for an hour or two each week. Many groups are geared toward specific issues, such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, while others focus on helping people deal with a variety of issues like anger or low self-esteem. Still others consist of individuals who are all going through a similar experience like loss of a loved one or divorce.

Art Therapy

Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, coloring, or sculpting to help people express themselves artistically and examine the psychological and emotional undertones in their art. With the guidance of a credentialed art therapist, clients can “decode” the nonverbal messages, symbols, and metaphors often found in these art forms, which should lead to a better understanding of their feelings and behavior so they can move on to resolve deeper issues.

Art therapy helps children, adolescents, and adults explore their emotions, improve self-esteem, manage addictions, relieve stress, improve symptoms of anxiety and depression, and cope with a physical illness or disability. Art therapy is founded on the belief that self-expression through artistic creation has therapeutic value for those who are healing or seeking deeper understanding of themselves and their personalities.