Family Counseling 2017-10-01T22:24:12+00:00

Counseling for Families in Vancouver, WA – Portland metro area

What is Family Counseling?

Family relationships can be complicated and hard to navigate. In family counseling we make sure that no one gets blamed or singled when working together. We see family members as interconnected, being able to influence help each other. When families get out of balance, they can use a professional ally. In our role as family therapists, we often start our work together by meeting an entire family, extended family members, and/or friends – whoever you tell us is important to include.

As we begin to understand what needs to be done, we may work with different combinations of people: individual or extended family members, parents, friends, adult children or siblings to build solutions to challenges.

The idea behind family counseling is that change can happen more quickly when more people are involved and committed to reinforcing that change. Research has shown that often times family therapy is more effective than standard or individual therapy.

Family counseling provides the opportunity for everyone involved to grow and become closer with one another. Family therapy is some of the most rewarding work that we do because of the lasting changes that it can create for everyone involved.

Family Counseling Can Help You

  • Improve communication between family members
  • Develop family structures, guidelines and processes that will help your family function to the benefit of all its members
  • Understand and problem-solve personal or social issues
  • Merge your parenting styles and philosophies into a unified, workable plan that offers your children the clarity and consistency they need from you

We help all family members we work with to pull together to find new and effective ways to resolve the challenges that brought them to counseling, we strive to make new, existing, or unrecognized resources available.

Types of Family Therapy

Family Reunification Counseling

Reunification counseling or reconciliation counseling is becoming more widely used especially in divorce cases. It is often court ordered, depending on the specifics of the situation the purpose and goals will vary. The general purpose of reunification counseling is an attempt to identify and restore the relationship between the child and the reunifying parent while also identifying the stressors which have negatively impacted the relationship. Goals of reunification therapy are determined after we have identified the factors contributing to the estranged relationship and by working on communication, trust and residual feelings contributing to the estrangement.

Functional Family Therapy (FFT)

Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is an evidenced based approach that is family based to work with at risk teens. This approach is phase-based and lasts 3-6 months with an average of 10-12 total weekly sessions. We utilize this approach to intervene with specific and individualized strength-based interventions, matching to what works best for you and your family.

Cooperative Co-Parenting

Focuses on two parents who are learning to best raise their child while living apart. The focus is to have you the parent, collaborate in providing the needed healthy structure and positive child-rearing strategies pertinent to your child’s optimal development and growth, emotionally, physically, and socially.  All involved parties who have stake in the “best interest” of the child are welcomed to participate in this process.

Blended Families

Counseling for blended families is geared for parents and step-parents who seek to bring more peace and harmony in their household. Blended families have many additional challenges such as having two sets of parents trying to “be on the same page.” Common family problems include communication, discipline styles, expectations for the children, parenting time, value systems, and lifestyles choices often become points of contention between families. Parents in blended families will learn how to express their concerns, both with their new partner and their ex-spouse, in constructive, respectful ways, to strengthen trust and cooperation, and avoid more divisiveness.

Home Based Therapy

We offer a unique approach to counseling when appropriate, we encourage that our work goes beyond the counseling room and into your home.

This home based counseling approach came from years of working as a case manager going into families homes who had children with behavior issues, ADHD, anxiety and depression. We were able to see firsthand the struggles that parents and children were having in the comfort of their own home. We firmly believe that positive change can happen more quickly and is more natural in the home environment.

Family therapy can be a stand-alone service or a helpful compliment to individual or couples counseling.

Common Reasons Families Seek Counseling

  • Improve Communication
  • Learn Conflict Management
  • Differing Parenting Skills
  • Divorce
  • Parent Conflict
  • Roommates vs. Lovers
  • Major Life Changes or Trauma
  • Court-Ordered Reunification/Reconciliation

Family Therapy & Counseling Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Compass wants the therapeutic process to be transparent, so that you know what to expect, and that you feel comfortable. We understand that talking to someone new can bring up feelings of fear and uncertainty for some, so we hope that these questions ease those feelings and bring a certain level of readiness and comfort to seeking help with any one of our therapists at Compass Whole Health.  Check out some of the frequently asked questions in the list below.

If your question isn’t answered here, give us a call at 360-828-5350.


Our current regular fees are as follows. Payment for each session is due at the time of your session. Our office accepts cash, checks and all major credit cards (including HSA). Please make your checks payable to Compass Community Counseling, LLC.

  • $130 per 60-minute family counseling session
  • Full Session Fee for No Show/Late Cancel (outside of 24 hours)
  • $25 Returned Check Fee
  • $150 per 60-minute reunification counseling session (plus retainer fee before services start)

Family therapy is an investment in your families’ relationship. How important is it to you to have a healthy relationship with your partner and your children? What is it worth to you?

If you are seeking family therapy and you are unsure of the financial commitment, feel free to give us a call anyway. We can provide referrals to other therapists in the area who accept insurance. And, depending upon your current need, we can discuss other resources such as workshops and books that may be helpful as you decide your readiness for family therapy.

You are probably anticipating the answer “it depends” – and you would be correct. It is impossible to predict the total number of sessions needed, as each family is unique and the number of sessions will vary.

Some families’ will attend as few as 10-12 sessions, while families’ participating in reunification/reconciliation counseling may attend 20 or more sessions to achieve the changes needed to maintain lasting relationship satisfaction.

Often we recommend weekly or bi-weekly 60 minute sessions at the start of counseling to help build needed trust and comfort in the counseling relationship. Weekly appointments may also facilitate more active progress toward goals. As progress toward initial goals are made, it may be helpful to spread the sessions further apart. We will discuss what is right for you as we work together.

Our address is 613 E McLoughlin Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98663

Directions From I5 Northbound

  1. Take Exit 1C, (City Center/Mill Plain Blvd). Left at the light (Mill Plain)
  2. East on Mill Plain, turn left at the second light (Ft. Vancouver Way)
  3. Proceed one block. Turn left at the light (McLoughlin Blvd).
  4. Travel west approximately 1/4 of a mile.
  5. 613 E. McLoughlin is on the south side.

Directions From I5 Southbound

  1. Take Exit 1C, (Mill Plain Blvd). Stay right, merge onto Mill Plain eastbound,
  2. East on Mill Plain, turn left at the second light (Ft. Vancouver Way)
  3. Proceed one block. Turn left at the light (McLoughlin Blvd).
  4. Travel west approximately 1/4 of a mile.
  5. 613 E. McLoughlin is on the south side.

Please enter through the North front door of the building. Because we are a small private practice we do not have a receptionist for check-in, we complete this process ourselves.

Parking: Unmetered street parking is available in front of our offices at all hours. We are located just west of Clark College and the Marshall Center, just minutes from I-5.

ADA Accessible: We are an ADA accessible office. If special accommodations are necessary, please do not hesitate to ask when you are scheduling your consult.

Private practices typically don’t have set hours. Our therapists work by appointment only, and each therapist sets their schedule. Some work days only, some work nights and weekends. If you need a particular time frame or day of the week, contact our intake line to discuss this.

Do your research. Review online directories, such as Psychology Today, to compare different therapists in your area and search by specialties. Check out the therapist’s website, paying special attention to see if their message resonates with you.

Many therapists offer services to families; however, not all have completed their education and training in marriage and family issues. Ask if they have had courses in family therapy, or if they have received supervision from someone who was an experienced family therapist.

Looking for the type of license that a potential therapist holds can be important. Having a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) indicates that the practitioner has completed coursework specific to couples and understands how to effectively work with the delicate nature of intimate partner relationships.

Look for additional trainings and certifications that the therapist has completed, paying close attention to those trainings and certifications that are specific to the couple relationship and are founded on research.

And last, but certainly not least, you should feel comfortable with the therapist. Research indicates that the most important factor contributing to the success of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and their clients. This means that the relationship you have with your therapist is more important than the therapists’ education and training, more important than the model of therapy the therapist uses, and even more important than the years of experience of the therapist.

Most therapists will offer an initial phone consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with potential therapists. You should be able to determine if you would feel comfortable working with the therapist within the first few minutes of the conversation.

Click here to schedule a FREE 15 minute phone consultation to determine if we are a good fit. If the available times do not work with your schedule, call or *text 360.828.5350, or *email us at info@compasswholehealth.com, to request another time for your consultation.

This phone conversation will give us a chance to interview each other – but not in the anxiety provoking interview way. This will be more of a getting-to-know you talk. We want to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need for your relationship.

Please note that as therapists’ most of our days are spent having uninterrupted time with clients; therefore, we are not always immediately available. We encourage you to leave a message and we will return your call at our earliest convenience.

*Note that text and email are not secure methods of communication. Please reserve text and email communication for scheduling a time for consultation only. We can discuss the details of your particular situation during our phone consultation.

We do not accept insurance. Couples Therapy and Family Therapy in its pure form, which is what we practice, is not covered by insurance. The purpose of insurance is for the diagnosis and treatment of a mental illness. Insurance companies do not recognize relationship concerns as a mental illness; therefore, my relationship therapy services are not reimbursable. Insurance companies get to decide how many sessions you are allowed to see me and they dictate the services that we provide. Insurance companies also require a diagnosis, which becomes part of your permanent medical record and can disqualify you from certain careers.

Having a private pay therapist means that you will have more control over your treatment. You will not receive a mental health diagnosis and your session notes will not be submitted to an outside third party. We will be able to freely work together in a way that honors your unique situation and I can tailor my approach to best fit your needs.

Our approach to family therapy is more organized than most and utilizes other models such as Structural Family Therapy, Gottman Methods, and Functional Family Therapy methods – a structured, scientifically-based empirically-grounded, family-based intervention program.

Therapists work with families to assess family behaviors that maintain unwanted behavior, modify dysfunctional family communication, maintain appropriate structure and hierarchy within the family, gain insight into setting clear rules about expectations and family roles.

When you work with one of our therapists’ you are investing in a therapist who has specific training and education in systemic family relationships.

We only see a limited number of clients in our practice so you can expect to receive the utmost care and consideration in regards to your relationship needs.

Seeing a carefully selected number of clients allows us to devote time to understanding your specific relationship outside of our sessions together. We will have ample time to review notes, tailor our approaches and interventions to your specific needs, and keep up to date on the latest developments in the field.

Family therapy sessions are typically 60-90 minutes, allowing time for deep and meaningful relationship work to take place. We do not book clients back-to-back so you will receive the attention that you deserve and you will not experience the sense of being rushed.

You may always call your therapist to cancel or reschedule an appointment. Our office policy is that all cancellations and reschedules must be 24 hours before the scheduled appointment to avoid a fee. Late cancellations and no shows have a $130 (our full rate) fee that is charged to the client.

If you have any other questions, please contact us

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