My Services

Initial Assessment

Before initiating counseling services, I will schedule an initial assessment session with either of the parents without your child being present. Occasionally, the initial assessment may take place with the child or children present. In this case, I spend much of the time getting acquainted with the child and making sure that the child is comfortable with me and the process. The initial assessment is generally completed in one 50-minute session and relevant information is gathered as follows:

  • Details about your current concerns regarding your child
  • Background information and family history
  • When the child is present, I will get their perspective regarding social, familial and educational issues
  • Goals for the therapy sessions

After the initial assessment, and depending on your particular needs, you and your child will be involved in counseling either individually or together through a combination of approaches:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Counseling for parents
  • Parenting education classes

Individual Therapy for Children and Adolescents

Individual therapy is a form of counseling in which a client meets one-on-one with a therapist and develops a trusting relationship so that he/she can talk about and resolve his/her concerns or problems. The goal of individual therapy is to solve specific difficulties, improve overall functioning, and create positive changes in one’s life. Individual therapy can be helpful for clients who are having difficulties regulating their mood or emotions, managing stress, solving problems, and connecting with others. Generally, clients who seek individual therapy are struggling with specific mental health issues such as depression or anxiety; however, this is not always the case. Some clients seek individual therapy in order to better navigate life’s challenges, improve relationships, get advice on important decisions, or during times of adjustment. Therapists use many different techniques to help their clients. These techniques come from different models of therapy. At The Art of Family, I primarily use a Solution Focused approach which utilizes techniques proven to be effective in a brief amount of time.

Family Therapy/Counseling for Parents

Family therapy is a form of counseling in which a therapist meets with all family members rather than just meeting with one or two. In family therapy, there may be one individual who is identified as having the most difficulties; however, the entire family is usually affected by the problem and needs to learn ways to cope with it. Family therapy is often helpful when it is necessary to identify and break family patterns that contribute to family dysfunction or to the symptoms of one family member. It can also be helpful when the family is changing in some fundamental way (i.e., children are becoming adolescents, adolescents are preparing to leave for college, parents are divorcing, separating, or re-marrying). The goal at The Art of Family is to provide therapy to improve family functioning. This goal is met by teaching families effective communication skills, problem-solving strategies, and appropriate roles, limits, and boundaries. Like individual therapy, there are many different approaches or models of family therapy.

My parent counseling service is offered to parents who are looking for some guidance on issues relating to their child. With these services, you will learn to deal more effectively with your child and his or her behaviors. This is best done in the office, without the child present.

Parenting Education Courses

Parenting education courses are provided by Strategic Parenting through my offices at The Art of Family, using the Love and Logic® curricula. This parent-training program provides a proven 30-year track record of successful life-changing outcomes for families and provides practical resources that can be used immediately to assist parents in achieving respectful, healthy relationships with their children. This program instructs that Love allows children to grow through their mistakes, while Logic allows them to live with the consequences of their choices. At its heart, the program changes families by:

Using humor, hope and empathy to build up the adult-child relationship
Emphasizing respect and dignity both for children and adults
Providing real limits in a loving way
Teaching that logical consequences promote healthy decision-making

For more information about this education program, please visit the website: and meet my teaching partner, Vicki Switzer.

Workshop Topics Covered:

Week 1: “Handling Misbehavior without Breaking a Sweat”
Discover techniques to end whining, arguing, and negotiating 
Learn the secret to effective consequences

Week 2: “Avoiding Power Struggles”
Discover how to use effective choices for sharing power
Learn tools to end battles over homework, bedtime, mornings, and more!

Week 3: “It’s Not My Problem”
Learn how to guide kids to own and solve their problems
Discover how to get your kids to help with chores

Week 4: “Are you picking a Fight or Setting a Limit?”
Discover the language of setting loving limits
Learn how to implement the Strategic Training Session

Week 5: “What to Do When Your Kids Leave You Speechless”
Discover how to use delayed and universal consequences

Areas of Specialty

I have a passion for working with children and their families. Using a Solution Focused approach, within the context of the Family System, I work hard at providing a safe and supportive environment that promotes the healing of emotional, social, educational and relational issues. Additionally, I enjoy counseling individual men and women who are struggling with any of life’s difficult challenges. Finally, I have a desire to work closely with senior citizens who are facing significant life transitions which often include grief, illness, broken relationships, and understandable depression. Other areas of therapy where I bring considerable experience include:

  • Abandonment
  • Abuse
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Anger/Aggression
  • Anxiety Disorders/Fears
  • Asperger’s Disorder
  • Attachment Issues
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Bereavement/Loss and Grief
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Child or Adolescent Issues
  • Communication
  • Co-Parenting
  • Depression
  • Divorce Adjustment
  • Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • Educational/Under Achievement
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Family Conflicts
  • Learning Disabilities/Differences
  • Life Transitions
  • Mood Swings/Mood Disturbance
  • Obsessions and Compulsions (OCD)
  • Panic
  • Parenting Issues
  • Parenting Stresses
  • Phobias
  • Physical Abuse
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Doubt
  • Self-Esteem
  • Senior Citizens Challenges
  • Sensitivity to Criticism
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Social Anxiety/Phobias
  • Single Parenting
  • Spiritual Issues
  • Stress
  • Suicidal Ideation and Behavior
  • Worry
  • Worthlessness

Thank you for visiting The Art of Family website and I hope to see you soon! I can be reached by telephone at (760) 505-8463.

Kathy Mattox, MA, MFT
The Art of Family
Strategic Parenting
Licensed Child, Marriage and Family Therapist
Independent Facilitator of Love and Logic® curricula

169 Cedar Road
Vista, CA 92083