A Little About Shifi
I have always been intrigued as to what are the ingredients that create healthy families. One of the best decisions I’ve made was pursuing an advanced degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I have been told many times that my passion for the field is infectious and that my relentless pursuit in trying to find the “secrets to success” from up-to-date research has actually become an obsession.
My own children have been the greater impetus to the amount of time that I have spent, both in and out of school, researching how healthy families function and specifically what we need to do as parents to help our children.
Thanks to the available literature and wonderful training, I’ve been able to uncover what I believe is a common denominator in healthy relationships: the development of true empathy.
- Shifi Lieberman, MS, EdS, LMFTWork with Me
The Unique Field of Marriage and Family Therapy:
My specific niche in counseling has been the treatment of couples and families, particularly who are dealing with challenging children. Over the last few years, I’ve researched and developed a distinct approach to help struggling families. The field of Marriage and Family Therapy in general, takes a nonjudgmental, nonthreatening approach when working with clients. It is not about diagnosing and focusing on who’s to blame, but rather to think in terms of how we can help our clients process and improve relationships. I too believe that every person is made up of so many different experiences and personality traits, that it’s only natural to run into some challenges and hard times with the people closest to you. The ability to focus on the process rather than content of the situation and assistance to the client in putting the pieces of the underlying puzzle together is my expertise and has been very effective in creating change.
Shifi has an uncanny ability to zero in on social skill needs and its application with children.
-Principal of Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic, Grades 1-8
A Little About My Approach:
One of my goals for treatment is to infuse security and confidence into parents and children. But, that’s easier said than done 🤭. Learning how to effectively manage OUR own emotions, how to appropriately communicate with others and problem solve are often the keys to success. Having the ability to control our own emotions are included amongst the tools we need to feel secure and confident and to raise socially appropriate children. In order to achieve a high level of functioning, children need to have the feeling of being emotionally and physically connected to both parents. In addition to connection, the parental sub-system also needs to maintain some control in the home. This combination of intimacy and power provides children with a feeling of safety and security. It is important to realize that this combination needs to be unique and custom-made for each of our children. A common mistake is having one parenting style – and not being flexible in adjusting either the intimacy or the power for each of our individual children. This custom-made approach to parenting will help our children establish healthy attachments to us and to others and prompt the development of empathy, the most fundamental attribute of healthy social relationships.