Family Therapy

We were in conflict with our daughter. She was withdrawn and we had tried everything.
Jane gently guided us into a new understanding of each other.
We couldn’t have got there on our own.

At Evolving Roles, we offer Family Therapy to help families address concerns and issues that are eroding family communication and relationships. With years of experience, extensive training in a unique combination of disciplines, Jane Maher has crafted a practical, dynamic and empowering approach to family therapy.

Our focus is on improving mutual understanding, reviewing the backstories, the triggers and the feelings that have lead to the formation of unhelpful beliefs about each other and that lead to frustrations, withdrawal and/or conflict with each other. The frequency and severity of family differences can then be reduced over time and families can get back to having quality times together.

Who can benefit from participating in Family Therapy?

Family Therapy can really help:

  • at different life stages of a family throw up new challenges. For example: the arrival of a new family member in the home; the transition from infancy to childhood or to adolescence; changes in family circumstances that affect the availability of parents
  • when kids, siblings, parents are in conflict and communication has become negative and destructive
  • when family members have become withdrawn, disconnected and are growing apart
  • when big and difficult changes have occured and there is a need to re-organise family dynamics and re-create new ways of being together
  • when there has been hurt and relationships need to be healed
  • when new family structures, norms and rhythms need to be co-created
  • when adopting a child and needing pre-placement parenting support.

Sometimes, Family Therapy can be beneficial for teens participating in our Teen Groups, to provide effective support to the teen at home as well as in the groups.

A Family Therapy session is also recommended prior to enrolling in the Tuning into Teens/Kids parenting program.

Family therapy can involve Child Focused Parent Sessions that empower parents to provide new types of support, and be a force of healing for the relationships. Emotion Coaching and Autism focused parent coaching is also offered.

How does Family Therapy work?

Evolving Roles provides Family Therapy sessions that are confidential, safe, supportive and judgement-free. Families often seek family therapy when they feel stuck and unable to resolve relationship difficulties on their own.

The focus in Family Therapy is not on any individual family member but on the system of family relationships in the family. This focuses treatment on the relationships and means that no-one in the family gets blamed. There is no fault finding or side-taking. Evolving Roles family therapists don’t take sides – we are on each family members’ side. All family members are valued and respected and given the opportunity to have their experience heard, acknowledged, accepted and understood.

Accountability, responsibility and articulation of feelings without blame is encouraged. Evolving Roles’ family therapy involves developing clear goals about how each family member wants to the family relationships to be different, what changes everyone in the family wants and what they are willing to work towards together.

Sometimes only one extended single session is required to achieve enough change. Either one or several sessions of family therapy involves gathering the background information and thinking together about which ways of interacting, which beliefs and which past experiences are helping and which are getting in the way of better relationships.

Family Therapy facilitates insights into more mutual understandings between family members and how to communicate more effectively. Families are assisted to integrate greater empathy, more playfulness and creative problem solving in their relationships and family life.

The idea is that when you finish family therapy you will be getting on much better and feeling empowered and more confident to handle the next problems that come up in the next stages of family life.

“…but before I forget I wanted to thank you. We have had some great evening chats this weekend, with some real break throughs…. It is all credit to this new way of tuning in… thank you! 

Parent of 3, 40ish, South East Melbourne

Addressing common concerns

Sometimes family members can feel fearful and sceptical about coming to these sessions. That is understandable. It takes courage and a leap of trust to open up about vulnerabilities. It can feel like a risk to trust a stranger with your family vulnerabilities or that something helpful can come from taking the risk of opening up. Family members may worry that they might be judged, criticised, not respected, not understood or not listened to.

Parents, teens, siblings, kids and extended family members can assured that it is our job to ensure they are each supported and to manage everyone’s safe and respectful contributions and participation. Families are honoured for the courage it takes to face their difficulties and take the leap to come to a family therapy session. Jane Maher has developed a unique approach to making the first session easier than expected for all family members while enabling an effective start to treatment. Getting started in a good way means future sessions can be approached with more confidence and more productive work can be done together.

Getting Started

You don’t need a referral from a professional to organise Family Therapy (although this is sometimes how families find us). To get started, simply book an initial appointment with Jane Maher. At this meeting, Jane will meet with you and your family, discuss your current situation, what your family would like to achieve from participating in family counselling and how we can proceed. This meeting will take approximately one hour. If you would like to start with an extended session please call Jane first to discuss a longer session or book 2 x 1hr sessions.

Please note, in response to COVID-19, Family Therapy sessions are currently being conducted online via Zoom. These have been very effective and can be more convenient for families but they can also be harder to coordinate in the home setting. When life returns to ‘normal’ we will resume “In Person” sessions for those who prefer in person. During the Initial session we can think together about a plan for what will help based on what we work out together.


2020 Fees$AU ex GST
Initial 60 min session$255-287.50
Family Group session$170-185 per hour
Reports, referrals and letters of support2 x session fee plus GST

* Please note, there are no Medicare, private healthcare rebates or funding available for the Family Therapy services provided by Jane Maher unless through NDIS. Please ask about concession rates if required.