Clinical Director, Therapist
Alicia Ines de Olano
Intake Coordinator and Office Manager
Rosemary de Olano
by Sandra H. McKay
As founder of Holy Family Counseling Center, I offer the following philosophy of therapy which our therapists embrace. After many years of working with clients independently, I am pleased to be joined by this highly-qualified staff in doing the healing work that is our vocation.
In developing Holy Family Counseling Center, I have kept in mind several beliefs and philosophies which are a basis for our work. One such belief is that each of us has been made for a specific purpose in this life, although many of us find ourselves in circumstances that make this purpose unclear and difficult to find. It is often very hard to understand it all as we live it, but in hindsight the picture can become clearer. It is our hope that we might aid you in “becoming the best possible version of yourself” (Matthew Kelly), thereby providing hope and healing for you, your family, and your circumstance. As Mother Teresa and many great minds over the centuries have said – “It is not what life brings to us, but how we respond to it that brings us peace.”
When chronic or grave hurt has been present in the marriage, it is a wound to the bond with which God holds the two together. We often want quick fixes and find it hard to believe that suffering is part of love. Therapy is helpful in reducing suffering and helping the couple find ways to eliminate a large part of the suffering through incorporation of new coping methods, making changes in couple dynamics, communication, and ways of loving. In therapy, couples learn to discern ways of loving that they’ve either forgotten or never knew. They are aided in gaining insight into both themselves and each other, empowering them to strengthen their bond and once again find pleasure in their relationship.
To accomplish this, there will be individual sessions, couple sessions, and possibly even family sessions – all according to the specific needs and issues of the couple. Every relationship has the stages of Honeymoon and Disillusionment, but those blessed relationships that agree to move to the working stage can achieve Acceptance (not settling) and Intimacy, that amazing sense of loving, belonging, trusting which is the good which God created us to achieve. Though this is hard-earned, the joy of the end result is its own reward.
Finally, just as a couple is part of a “society” or “system” bigger than themselves (families of origin, the family they have created, friends, church community, workplace, et al) children and teens are even more at the mercy of the system they are part of. They are relatively helpless in improving their life circumstances without the help of their parents. With this in mind, parents are an integral part of their healing path.
If parents are unable or unwilling to participate, the child/teen can be led on a path for inner peace in a possibly difficult trial, but this is usually a longer and harder road.
It is beautiful to watch a family learn to love each other in new and better ways and amazing to see how each family member effects the others so deeply – for the good or the bad. Therapy helps them strive for the greatest good, with the goal of providing a place of love and safety for each person so that they might all thrive and move into the vocation that their Creator intended for them. Life is already hard, but life without this safe haven can be debilitating. Providing the experience of healing of this haven allows for all to blossom. For this reason, therapy may include sessions with the parents and the children as appropriate for their needs and healing.
This work is a culmination of our center’s joint learning and experiences of helping people achieve the highest levels of healing; incorporating a holist view of the person (body, mind, spirit) that is grounded in a deep understanding and respect for the dignity of the human person as a creation of God and their place within the sacred institution of the family.
It is my hope that you will find haven with one of us to help you through the journey of your healing. Please feel free to call us at the number listed if you have any questions about therapy or to learn more about our center or a particular therapist.
Note: In an explanation of a faith-based practice let it be understood that although our philosophy is based on our faith in God, this will never be imposed upon a client and it is contingent upon the client to decide how or if their own faith system will be incorporated explicitly into therapy.