Austin Family Counseling Services

Counseling for Children

AFC offers counseling focused specifically on children ages 3-12 and their families.  We use techniques such as play therapy, EMDR, and filial therapy with children. Our child therapists help children heal from trauma, process issues such as divorce or death of a loved one, and cope with mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

AFC has a beautiful play room where children can feel safe and supported during their counseling experience.  Our child therapists also work concurrently with parents, providing support, coaching, and encouragement.  Using a family-centered approach, our goal will be to help parents and children feel empowered and equipped to cope with challenges.

Teen & Young Adult Counseling

AFC offers individual counseling to tweens, teens, and young adults. Some of the issues we specialize in include depression, anxiety, peer pressure, self-esteem issues, cutting and self-injury, body image or disordered eating, family conflict, social media issues, and academic challenges.  With a strengths-based focus, we will work individually with your teen, providing them a safe space to work through challenges.  Even teens and young adults who are resistant to counseling often find they enjoy the compassionate and caring way we approach working with teens at AFC.

We also work collaboratively with parents to help them better understand the developmental stages their child may be going through, as well as the school and peer challenges.  In our parent counseling sessions, we demonstrate and practice using tools that facilitate more connection and openness with teens and young adults.  We understand how challenging parenting this stage can be, especially with the changes social media has brought to our culture.  Our clinicians can help parents navigate the boundaries that teens and young adults need in order to thrive in today’s world.

Individual Adult Counseling

For individuals seeking support around issues such as self-esteem, stress management, relationship discord, depression, anxiety, loss of hope, trauma, and more, we offer counseling one-on-one that is goal-oriented, client driven, and highly supportive.

Couples & Premarital Counseling

AFC offers counseling for partners who are in all stages of couplehood, from dating to second marriages.   Couples counseling focuses on enhancing joy and growing communication in the relationship. Some of the challenges we specialize in with couples are differences in parenting styles, communication issues, work-life balance, enhancing intimacy, drifting apart, blended families, and high conflict. We hope to help you deepen your connection and resolve conflict in a healthy way.

Parent Coaching

Based on Positive Discipline, a model developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen, AFC offers parent coaching and workshops focused on helping parents feel empowered and encouraged, while also using discipline as a way to teach and inspire children. Positive Discipline provides parents and caregivers with non-punitive methods to inspire children to develop valuable social and life skills. Some of the challenges we can help parents navigate in parent coaching sessions include bedtime, homework, tantrums, sibling rivalry, defiance, school issues, and self-esteem, among many others.  We will help you experience being in your child’s shoes so that you can better understand your child first, and then equip you with new and positive tools to collaborate with your child.  We offer both individual parent coaching sessions as well as workshops with other parents.

More About Positive Discipline:
Positive Discipline is a program based on the work of Alfred Adler and Rudolf Dreikurs and designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best selling Positive Discipline books by Dr. Jane Nelsen and co-authors Lynn Lott, Cheryl Erwin and others, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults (including parents, teachers, childcare providers, youth workers, and others).

Recent research tells us that children are “hardwired” from birth to connect with others, and that children who feel a sense of connection to their community, family, and school are less likely to misbehave. To be successful, contributing members of their community, children must learn necessary social and life skills. Positive Discipline is based on the understanding that discipline must be taught and that discipline teaches.

Jane Nelsen gives the following criteria for “effective discipline that teaches”:

Five Criteria For Positive Discipline

  1. Is it kind and firm at the same time? (Respectful and encouraging)
  2. Does it help children feel a sense of belonging and significance? (Connection)
  3. Is it effective long-term? (Punishment works short term, but has negative long- term results.)
  4. Does it teach valuable social and life skills for good character? (Respect, concern for others, problem-solving, accountability, contribution, cooperation)
  5. Does it invite children to discover how capable they are and to use their personal power in constructive ways?

Virtual Therapy

With all of the commitments that fill our calendars, it can feel impossible to find additional time to prioritize our mental health. Here at Austin Family Counseling, we are committed to flexing with our clients’ lives to provide even those with the busiest schedules the opportunity to receive support and care. 

Virtual therapy is simply utilizing the technology that is already present in your life to meet with your therapist. All that is needed for virtual therapy is a device with audio/video, secure WIFI or data, and a quiet/private space.