Individual Therapy

A person's life circumstances and current contexts are determined by environmental events that occur over time interacting with our original make-up including the personality and biology we are born with.  The most important environmental influence is family background, sometimes called family of origin, creating our developmental history.  Because the family is the primary source for socializing us in how to think, feel, and behave it is easy to repeat early socialization that is unhealthy.  Many of us have parents whose own life remains unexamined and who interacted with us as children in ways that still negatively influence us today.  We may not even be aware that we are repeating old habits we learned early in life that are causing emotional turmoil and confusion for ourselves and those we love.  Because each person is unique, we must understand ourselves and our old conditioning so that we can have a choice.  We can learn to deal with the stress of everyday problems in a healthy way.  An examined life is one that can have some freshness for new responses and create a life worth living.

Child, adolescent and adult problems including:

  • Fear, worry and anxiety
  • Panic
  • Sadness hopelessness and depression
  • Inattention and hyperactivity
  • Rule breaking, defiance and acting out
  • Severe mood swings
  • Bursts of anger and rage
  • Autism and related developmental disorders 
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Stress reduction
  • Gender identity disorder in childhood, adolescence and adulthood


People are unique but problems aren't.  For example, "depression" or "anxiety" is a problem for everyone to some degree.  We all feel the stress and strain related to living in a complex and busy world.  Even people who have never been diagnosed with a serious mental illness still must learn how to lead balanced lives in order to manage the stress of living in an unpredictable and mostly uncontrollable world.  Living with uncertainty is not easy!

A person is not a label and, for example, just labeling someone as "depressed" does not give information about how to deal with it although we all know something about depression.  When you come to therapy at Glencairn, we see a unique person with a family background and particular set of family genetics who finds her or himself feeling depressed on a particular day or time in a certain situation.  We treat each person with three things in mind--listening with an open, compassionate mind, understanding your particular context, and generating a plan on how to create more balance in your life.

At Glencairn our therapists use a practical approach to clinical interventions with interdisciplinary ideas and research from sociology, social psychology, human development and family studies, and systemic family therapy.  Within this framework we are able to treat people from diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and sexual orientations for a wide range of problems.


Because adolescents are still developing cognitively, emotionally, socially, and in his or her identity it critical that therapists understand adolescent development and interact and design interventions that are positive as well as developmentally appropriate.

Parents play a critical role in adolescents developing into well-adjusted adults.  Teenagers are often viewed as mysterious beings by adults, and parents frequently find it difficult to understand teenage sons and daughters. Adolescents are unfathomable at times due to being at the same time vulnerable and supremely confident, worldly and innocent, egocentric and compassionate, stubborn and impressionable, suspicious and trusting, and autonomy seeking but inexperienced in decision making.

Understanding your adolescent can help you as parents decipher your teenager's behavior.  Parenting styles that help your son or daughter develop more autonomy while keeping emotionally close relations is an important factor in good life outcomes.  Therapists can facilitate family conversations that facilitate healthy identity development while agreeing to keep some things confidential.  Conversations between a teen and her or his parents can help develop closer relations while addressing really terrifying problems that young people may face daily.


By connecting relaxation skills to concrete actions, we can help children attend to, recall, and use healthy, prosocial behavior.  Action in therapy motivates children to learn because they are having fun.  Therapy with children needs to be imaginative, creative, and engaging.  Working with children individually, our therapists engage in a friendly, encouraging way with children at the child's level of understanding to help him or her identify feelings and become connected with their bodies.  We play and have fun while introducing, reinforcing and repeating healthy self-management skills.

These days we all realize the powerful influence of the family on children's behavior and development.  Family is not the source of children's problems even though family interactions may be related to the child's negative behavior and may sometimes even make things worse.  We look to families as a resource to help children handle or resolve their problems.  Our therapists recognize that if treatment focuses exclusively on the child and family members remain uninformed about the progress their child is making in treatment, they may unintentionally reinforcing unwanted behavior. 

At Glencairn we understand that family members  must be included in therapy so that your child's symptoms are reduced and managed in a healthier way.  The family's response to the child's behavior is a major factor in how the child deals with the problem.  Family members must learn how to respond in ways that enable the child to emotionally resolve the problem and feel confident that they can handle life's situations.

Copyright © 2012-15  Glencairn Marriage & Family Therapy Center, Inc., All Rights Reserved.

Mail: Glencairn Marriage & Family Therapy Center Inc. 501 Darby Creek Road Suite 67., Lexington, KY 40509, USA.
Tel. (859) 263-4687