Charleston Family Center is a therapy resource for tending to the emotional health of each family member. People develop patterns for relating to themselves, each other and the world at large in the family where they are reared. Thus the most comprehensive perception of individuals is to view them within their familial context. People are doing the best they can and they can’t use skills they haven’t been taught or had the resources to develop for themselves.
Based on these ideas about emotional functioning, the therapists at Charleston Family Center believe emotional problems and accompanying symptoms or behavior are best treated by using the original family as a reference for identifying maladaptive patterns which may be changed.
Family members develop the patterns as natural efforts to adapt to their emotional reality in the family system. Progress in changing these patterns will produce improvement in the person’s identified emotional concerns. Our counselors and therapists assist clients in learning to recognize automatic reactions, to contain them, and to think differently.
New choices and improved skill in handling life stress develop as the counseling progresses. While the patterns are identified in families of origin, each relationship in the present is an opportunity to practice these skills for change. Relationships outside the family are often less emotionally intense so progress may come more quickly in those areas of functioning.
The psychiatrist at Charleston Family Center prescribes medications when the behavior or symptoms are so disruptive that the brain is limited to relief-seeking actions. Once the emotional intensity has been calmed, thinking with a view toward problem solving is possible. This point in the process is where families and individuals are often waylaid. Their relief is so great that they mistake it for a solution and don’t engage in further resource development.
Charleston Family Center attempts to help avoid this pitfall with a policy that anyone who is being prescribed medication must also be engaging in ongoing counseling with the psychiatrist or one of the therapists.