Dr. Blattner approaches each person that comes in for individual counseling from a family perspective. The new client is warmly greeted and throughout the first session, they are encouraged in their process of getting to know who they are and what they are dealing with in their life.
In some cases, Dr. Blattner will also use a genogram. This is a methodology of tracing three generations from the individual. If the individual is married the processes is also conducted with their spouse. This usually takes about 15 to 25 min. asking core questions about their parents, their siblings, and their grandparents. The focus is specific and asks the client questions such as “How would you describe your relationship with your father growing up? Was it close, distant, or conflictual? Choose a combination or one of those.” Along the way, the information is diagrammed on a sheet. Using this information on both the mother’s side and the father’s side and if married including their spouses information. A client is also asked about their children if they have any.
Dr. Blattner will diagram the family system, and how this person was influenced by their family system, and by the relationships that they had with their siblings, as well as their parents, and grandparents. For a man, the process will often trace the relationship with the father and the grandfather. There is also an exploration of how the grandfather influenced the father as well as how the father has influenced the man in the session. The process is similar for a new female client. Questions are asked such as “How did your mother influence you and how did your grandmother influence your mother?
The information gathered from that process is very powerful and informative. Dr. Blattner has developed an intuitive sense of how family systems work through postgraduate studies in family systems with the Menninger foundation, and through years of personal practice as a psychologist. He is able to give insights immediately as to how come the client may be experiencing anxiety, how come they may be experiencing depression, how come their life isn’t working, and what they could possibly do differently in order to make it work.
This process is so valuable for that individual there is usually never any question as to whether they would return to find out more. One of the things that can be done for an individual in a therapy process is to give them more access to this kind of methodology. It would continue on in their individual counseling.
This exploration helps people understand how come they have chosen their spouse or how come the spouse they have has chosen them. We explore what kind of dynamics they can choose to repeat from their family of origin or we can explore what kind of dynamics they would choose not to repeat.
The process is very dynamic and very personal and individuals are very relieved and uplifted by getting this information, much of it often in their very first session.