What is Marriage and Family Therapy?
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) are systemic thinkers which means that we look at the whole person. Looking at the whole person requires inquiry into various aspects of a person's life (work, friendships, intimate relationships, living situation etc). It is good to anticipate being asked about aspects of your life that may not seem to directly relate to the problem or issue you bring to therapy.
Welcome to Your Therapeutic Journey
The Therapeutic Process
The therapy process primary goal is to help produce change in your life and/or the social world for the better which can take place in one or over hundreds of sessions. The duration of treatment depends mostly on you (the client), the presenting issue(s) and your level of commitment to the process. In addition, good therapy acts as a ripple in a pond; spreading concurrently throughout many other facets of your life which takes time and is a process with many ebbs and flows. Therefore, it is not uncommon to venture into areas in your and/or your family's life that was not your initial concerns for therapy. In fact, it is more typical for primary concerns to change due to an increased understanding of the problem. Your needs and the areas of your life that will produce the most positive change throughout your life longterm are the priority, which greatly influences and determines the direction and duration of therapy.
The therapeutic process consists of a beginning (initial phase), middle (working phase), and an end (closing phase) which is captured within a treatment plan. A treatment plan is a document outlining a plan/map for therapy that you are co-created between you and your therapist. Knowing and including Iowa community resources and/or Illinois community resources and acquiring general information on relevant topics is an important part of treatment planning. The beginning mostly consists of building the therapeutic relationship, identifying the problems and goals of therapy as well as identifying relevant individuals to include or utilize in the therapy process. For example, a mother or sibling may attend a session in order for emotional support or information gathering to help inform the therapeutic process. The beginning stage also seeks to decrease any current crises and reduce some symptomology or stress that you are experiencing. The middle process is working through the presenting issue(s) through established goals, measuring progress, completing homework assignments and maximizing progress as much as possible. The middle stage is crucial in the sense that your ability to understand, synthesize, apply and practice concepts and behaviors learned in therapy highly influences the progression of therapy. The end or termination is solidifying achievements in therapy that will help sustain change long term.
American Association of Mariage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics
"I feel like Bryan does an excellent job of helping me to look and think of things differently. Also, he encourages me to explore my memories and feelings."
I have been very pleased with my sessions and I feel I would not have made the level of progress I have without these sessions and guidance. I would recommend BPR Services to anyone that asks and hope to continue with these services to better myself.
"Today Bryan helped me to put my feelings into perspective and rephrase my thoughts."
I, Bryan P. Range, am a trauma, attachment, structural and strategic (Family of Origin/Bowenian) focused therapist that is multiculturally and social justice informed. Learn more about me on my about page and eportfolio. I seek to understand the role trauma has played in your life and how it has affected your development in both positive (your resilience) and negative ways. I understand the importance of having a healthy attachment (positive, warm and accepting relationship) in and outside of therapy. Therefore, I practice being genuine, curious, open-minded and emotionally regulated in hopes to help you foster such relationships outside of therapy. I am very structured meaning that I strongly encourage and constantly assessing and promoting living a balanced and healthy lifestyle with adequate self-care, functioning well in activities of daily living and maintaining healthy boundaries across a variety of situations and relationships. I am strategic which means that I recognize that the way in which boundaries are set, negotiated and communicated is an art and a skill. Being a structural and strategic therapist also means that I am directive and action-orientated. I also have a multicultural and social justice focus. I am sensitive and intentional in understanding my client's cultural background particularly in the areas of power and privilege. Below is a list of therapies that I am either specifically trained and/or strongly adhere to. Mental Research Institute (MRI) approach, Attachment-Focused Family Therapy, Adlerian Psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic Theory, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy (REBT), Emotional Focused Therapy (EFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and the Client-Centered Approach.
"You're a pretty chill dude."
"Bryan passed my expectations with flying colors. My family and I still remark to each other how grateful we are to have the skills and knowledge that Bryan imparted to us."
"Wonderful and outstanding therapist."
Success in Therapy
Therapy is most rewarding and successful when your level of comfort and trust in the therapist is high (which is determined by goodness-of-fit) as well as having open and honest communication between both therapist and client. Attending sessions regularly is a crucial component to successful therapy which helps to build rapport, comfort and good communication. The responsibility of the therapist is captured in the therapeutic principles; autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, justice, fidelity, and veracity (truthfulness). It is also the therapist's job to provide structure to the therapeutic process meaning setting the expectation for weekly sessions, communicating and setting boundaries regarding appropriate decorum as well as terminating treatment when the integrity of therapy has been compromised. For the client, some important practices and mindsets are communicated in this therapy assessment. Lastly, It is strongly recommended that you purchase a journal (if you do not have one already) in order to keep track of important ideas, concepts, homework assignments and topics of discussion that occur in therapy.
Stabilization, Safety & Self Soothing Planning
Therapy requires that the client has achieved a certain level of emotional regulation, cognitive functioning and general stability in their lives in order for therapy to be helpful and effective. Stabilization is assuring basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, and adequate housing) are consistently met as well as addressing current or anticipated safety concerns and other barriers that can interfere with the progression of therapy. Stabilization includes co-creating a stabilization plan with the therapist and the completion of the stabilization assessment (DV) in order to identify and improve destabilizing aspects of your life. Safety planning insures that the basic need of safety or any potential for a crisis to occur is significantly diminished or can be effectively managed when or if they occur. Self-Soothing plans are methods and activities that one establishes to help better regulate and manage their state of arousal and emotional regulation.
Structure of Sessions
Sessions are typically about about 50 minutes long which is also considered the clinical hour. Session typically begins with the completion of a survey to assess what your therapist refers to as your therapuetic vitals; activities of daily living, self care, as well as general health, wellbeing and balance in your life. Educational material is provided below in order to support your wellbeing. When your session begins, significant items will be discussed; emergencies, safety issues, urgent matters, celebrations, and milestones will be addressed first as well as notifications (0-10). Thereafter, the agenda is set meaning that issues to be discussed will be identified and prioritized including a recap of the previous session (10-20). Homework is then revisited (20-30). Plans (treatment, safety/crisis, soothing, stabilization) are updated. Therapeutic vitals are revisited (40-50). Be advised that your therapist will be taking notes during your sessions and often using a genogram or timeline genogram to collect or organize information. The last several minutes of therapy will be a survey of your experience of therapy, rescheduling, and any other housekeeping or logistical matters. While this structure serves as a general template, the talk and processing of important matters take precedent.
Homework is a key component to therapy. Homework is activities assigned to you between sessions in order to help you progress through therapy. Homework is a time for you to practice what you have either learned in therapy or further explore aspects of your life that will increase your self-awareness, self-insight and further inform your therapist about who you are as a person. 1-2 hours a week outside of therapy is a good amount of time to dedicate to homework. Here are some highly recommended materials for all clients: The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck, What Happened to You?, Stillness Speaks and boundaries. Some homework assignments, as well as other common therapeutic activities, are located below.
Homework Assignments as Requested
Parenting Profile for Developing Attachment (DV)
Parenting Style Questionnaire (DV)
REBT Personality Data Form (DV)
The Shame Inventory
ACT Controlling Thoughts & Feelings
"Humans are not disturbed simply by our experiences; rather we bring our ability to disturb ourselves to our experiences"
- Alber Ellis & Windy Dryden (REBT)
"The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to
notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
- R. D. Laing
"According to systems theory, it makes no sense to analyze a person independently because...each memberof a family is in relation to the other and each affects and is affected by the other person." In other words, I know who I am because of
who I am with you.
- Dorothy and Raphael Becvar
Choose Your Therapy
Here is a list of therapies for you to choose from and to communicate to your therapist about what you are most interested in.
Those with an * are therapies more commonly used by your therapist.
I = Individual Therapy Approach C = Couples Therapy Approach F = Family Therapy Approach
Structural Therapy addresses disorganization in relationships where there are unclear roles, rules, and boundaries.
Individuals, parents with misbehaving children, or families who are experiencing moderate to severe relationship problems benefit most from this therapy.
Strategic Therapy addresses communication in relationships which helps to define more clearly roles, rules, and boundaries.
Individuals, couples, and families looking to learn how to improve their communication skills choose this therapy.
Experiential therapy focuses on exploring each family member's experience within the family and interactional patterns.
Couples and families looking to have a safe space to discuss relational dynamics and how to change problematic ones.
Trauma Treatment includes stabilization, psychoeducation, improving self-regulation, and posttraumatic-growth and resilience.
Bowenian or Family of Origin Therapy*
Bowenian/Family of Origin Therapy looks at your family or origin to better understand your
development as well as learning how to balance these close relationship
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach that looks to helps clients to more critically analyze their
implicit/unconscious thoughts that ultimately dictate your feelings and behavior. CBT works well to treat anxiety and depression.
Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy*
Similar to CBT, Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy helps clients to identify irrational beliefs that occur after some event
that lead to unhelpful behavior that perpetuates the occurrence of a problem or distracts from achieving a wanted goal.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy*
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) emphasizes the use of over usage of adaptive strategies such as fight and flight that
can help to create more problems than they solve.
Solution Focused Therapy
Solution Focused Therapy is quite simplistic, continue what is working and discontinue what is not. Solution Focused Therapy deals less in the emotional process
Narrative Therapy addresses personally held harmful narratives that have been internalized and imposed upon an individual, couple, or family.
Narrative Therapy helps to identify and externalize those harmful internalized narratives.
Objective Relations Therapy
Object Relations Therapy encouraged clients to examine unhealthy dynamics in relationships.
Object Relations Therapy helps clients to better understand where they stop and the other begins.
Emotional Focused Therapy
Emotional Focused Therapy looks at capturing the unhealthy and vicious cycles couples and families find
themselves in but struggle to change. EFT helps clients to emotionally experience and understand their
partner or family members differently.
Attachment-Focused Family Therapy*
Attachment-Focused Family Therapy helps to repair the ruptures or disconnect experienced relationships.
Emotional Focused/Attachment Therapy works well for couples and families.
Please visit the therapy resources tab for more information about the therapy process. Below is the paper version of the initial paperwork to complete prior to your first appointment. Please fill out the client's basic information form which only one per client (individual, couple, or family) needs to complete. Each adult participating in therapy should complete the medication list, adult outcome questionnaire, stabilization assessment, trauma recovery scale pt. 1, trauma recovery scale pt. 2, and the DSM-5 Self-Rated Symptom Measure for Adults. If your minor child is being seen, please complete the DSM-5 Parent/Guardian-Rated Symptom Measure. Youth between the ages of 11-17 who are participating in therapy should complete the youth outcome questionnaire and the DSM-5 Self-Rated Symptom Measure for Youth. In your first session, you will review the statement of understanding and if you have a copay or paying out of pocket, you will need to complete the credit card authorization form. Feel free to read it in advance. Please sign and return the last page of the notice of privacy practices. To allow your therapist to communicate with other professionals (e.g., primary care physicians, psychiatrists, etc) complete the authorization to disclose form.
Notice of Privacy Practices
Current clients can access the notice of privacy practices here