“Does it mean we are f*cked up if we have (family) therapy?” Stories from the Therapy Room.

One of my adolescent clients asked me this question recently. I had suggested a few family sessions to discuss the normal changes their family had gone through as the children moved into adolescence. It would be helpful to review everyone’s expectations of the rules, boundaries and communication for their family. The response was a much needed reality check for me.

My reality check

The idea of therapy is so normal for me. I have seen over and over how just a little bit of help can go a long way. But I know that it is not how therapy is typically seen. I think we are still reeling from the Freudian notions of endless, deep and mystical psychotherapy. At Pocket Family Psychologist one of our biggest aims is to shatter that myth.

Our kind of therapy

Therapy for us does not have to be really in depth or go on for years. Things do not need to be really difficult to benefit from support. We know that all families (and individuals) go through normal changes, face normal challenges and have normal emotional reactions. These often turn things upside down or throw the family off track for a while. And our job is to help families or individuals get things back on track or find a new way of doing things.

What kind of mind stuff goes on in therapy?

There are many different types of therapy and, admittedly, some can feel pretty intense and deep. For example, I am trained in a trauma/PTSD therapy called EMDR which can feel pretty intense and even a little magical at times (it absolutely isn’t magic, it has lots of science behind it but that is for another day). However, family therapy and the family consultation approach we use at Pocket Family Psychologist has no weird or wonderful tricks – it is a really honest and transparent approach with the family very much in the driving seat.

Sessions or consultations do not have to be really deep and super serious – personally, we like to use humour and playfulness alongside some brave and honest conversations. And , by the way, swearing is absolutely okay with us if it works for you.

Sessions or consultations do not have to go on for months or years. We have seen so many families or individuals gain a lot from just one or two consultations. An assumption in family therapy is that the family has already much expertise, skill and strength when they come for help. Things can change and improve very quickly.

The difference that makes the difference

The difference that makes the difference can be simple. It can be space to talk something through, hear someone else’s perspective, have someone get the struggle you are facing, come at something from a different angle, or have some new information or knowledge.  

The bottom line

You don’t have to be f*cked up to benefit from therapy. Our online psychology consultations are for everyday families and individuals struggling with everyday problems. No couches or mind games, we promise!

3 ways to get our help



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"Dr Andrea Shortland’s session for MediaCom on a children’s mental health was incredibly informative"

“Dr Andrea Shortland’s session for MediaCom on a children’s mental health was incredibly informative. During the second period of lockdown and home-schooling; parents and children found themselves again in a period of upheaval and transition. Many parents and carers were extremely worried about their children’s mental health and their own ability to be present and engaged whilst also playing the role of teacher and care giver. Dr Shortland gave attendees an insight into how many parents were feeling; tips on supporting children and helping them cope whilst studying from home and also managing their mental health. She also helped us realise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to effectively support our children. It was such a useful session that we realise it was also pertinent for not only children’s mental health but also adults! We will be holding another session with Dr Andrea and MediaCom soon.”

Avelon Thompson, MediaCom (following a parenting workshop)