Expertise: Standards, Experience, Connections

Professional standards define experts in psychology and psychotherapy. The staff of the Family Therapy Institute have met and exceeded those standards in their specialties.  Mary Lu Egidy, and Greg Tangari are all nationally Board Certified in their professions. All professional staff are licensed in Kansas and have contributed to articles, books, and national training seminars on family therapy.

Just as important, our staff has many years of training and experience in dealing with the problems faced by modern families, children, adolescents, couples, and adults. Beyond each of these key attributes, the staff at FTI Midwest has the expertise most current research suggests to be a the heart of successful therapy -- we make a connection with our clients. Our staff knows how to build relationships with children, adolescents, and adults and how to make those relationships work for change. These are not always easy relationships because therapy is not always a "feel-good" experience. But the connections we make are honest, direct, and caring. We want you to succeed. And because we are a team, if you or your family don't make that connection with one of our staff, we can refer you to someone at FTI who will.

When you make an appointment with any therapist, you trust that your case will be handled confidentially, professionally, and skillfully. These are the hallmarks of the experts at the Family Therapy Institute.

How We Work

Problems rarely come in neat boxes with easy solutions. The staff of the FTI Midwest work with families on a wide range of problems from the most severe of life’s traumas to the expected stressors of daily living and adjustment.

Each family is different, as is each of its members. Thus, there is no one therapy that works for any given problem, family, or individual. Our staff are trained and experienced in strategic approaches to therapy – meaning that we treat each case as unique, requiring new approaches and interventions to solve the specific problem at hand. We have each extened our training broadly in a variety of disciplines and bring that training to bear upon every given problem. We keep up to date on the latest direction of psychology, psychotherapy, medication management, and family intervention.

In any case, we begin by listening and assessing your specific needs, then offer advice, suggestions, homework tasks, and education designed to meet that need. Ours is an interactive therapy where we work as a team to bring about therapy goals. If you want to begin that process today, click on the download links (left) and download our intake packet for children or adults.

Services and Specialities

FTI Midwest focuses it's practice primarily on families, children, adolescents, couples and young adults in the transitional phases of life. We also serve adults individually who are dealing with symptoms directly related to family conflict, past or present including divorce, custody, and family-of-origin conflicts.

A
s case load allows, we also serve other adults, especially those who are able to make daytime appointments. In keeping with our concept of comprehensive treatment, we do not typically see individuals of any age for medication management only. At this time, FTI is a very busy practice so we are not always able to take on new clients. It is often best to email a therapist in advance of making an appointment to consult briefly on your problem or concern. Unfortunately, we are not able to return many phone calls for this purpose, or schedule unpaid interview sessions.

FTI Midwest also offers comprehensive testing and assessment of children and adults. We also offer medication management as appropriate within the larger context of treatment. Does this mean that FTI Midwest is a "jack of all trades and master of none?" No. It means that we can offer a breadth of service because we are a group practice with extrarodinary diversity of experience and background and because we have specifically trained ourselves to meet the needs of modern families and their various members.

As a matter of policy, FTI Midwest does not participate in disability claims for mental health issues. This is a matter of specialization that we do not hold. If you are considering applying for disability benefits for yourself or your child we strongly urge you to seek a different provider.

FTI staff are especially adept by training and experience in the following areas:

Marriage and Relationships: From adolescence to adulthood we help people function better in their interpersonal and intimate relationships. For families with adolescents, we help organize parents and teens into healthy dating patterns. For young adults we assist in life partner decision making and relationship counseling to create solid intepersonal skills early on.

For married or intimate couples we assist in maintaining successful partnering with joy and romance over time, while helping them face the difficult transisions of adult life as a couple. Current research says that monogamy is a value to society and individuals -- but it is easy. Thus, FTI has become quite adept at working with couples who face infidelity, helping them decide whether to continue the marriage and guiding them through a process of contrition and forgiveness whether they remain together or apart. We also assist in improving sexual relationships in the context of healthy intimacy.

Divorce and Custody. Sixty-six percent (66%) of all families with children will divorce. FTI Midwest works to help families avoid divorce, recognizing that for some this is still the best alternative. FTI Midwest offers pre- and post-divorce counseling, co-parenting therapy, and family and child therapy for young people facing the dissolution of their families. We also provide custody evaluations by order of the court for parents in contested custody situations.

Our approach to divorce work with adults is directive, honest, and no-nonsense. It places the responsibility for a healthy divorce squarely on the parents and helps them reach the highest levels of positive conduct attainable. Our approach to children is empathic and caring, but also aware that children may on occasion convert their hurt and anger at the divorce into poor conduct and oppositionality. We have walked many families through these most difficult of life transitions and we are prepared to help yours.

Toward this end, FTI Midwest prefers to work with divorcing families in which both parents agree to participate in treatment. Except in rare circumstances and when it can be shown that there is a clear benefit to the children, FTI Midwest will not accept clients who are seeking psychotherapy for children without the other parent's consent or participation. We do not knowingly assist one parent in finding out negative information about the other. Our only goal in working with children and families of divorce is to make the experience as positive for the family as possible.

FTI Midwest no longer provides case management servcies for divorcing families. We do not provide mediation services.

Child and Adolescent Concerns. Our greatest area of expertise is in the treatment of children and adolescents. We have worked with many very difficult cases over the last decade and can address nearly the full scope of child and teen behavioral, emotional, and psychological problems. Because of our ability to really connect with teens we have very candid conversations with them. This provides us with a remarkable "insiders" view of your teens world at school and out, allowing us some level of understanding that cannot be learned in books or training seminars.

We believe that individual child treatment goals are best attatined in the context of their families and environments. This does not mean that we will not see children individually, but it does mean that we expect families to participate in support of treatment. We may see older adolescents more often individually, but we typically work with at least one parent in tandem with the child as a consultant. We do however, maintain careful adherence to the protection of confidentiality of child and adolescent therapy, within a sensible and safe framework, and within constraints of the law. For a child or teen to share thoughts with us openly, he or she must know that we are not going to "run back and tell" the parent. At the same time, parents are asked to be a part of the FTI treatment team in any given case and thus we will meet with you and your child conjointly and at times separately to give you suggestions and advice on how best to achieve treatment goals.

Adult and Child ADHD Services.FTI Midwest leads the area in providing ADHD evaluation, education, and treatment services to adults, adolescents, and children including the latest scientific data and evaluation systems.

Medication Management. Mary Lu Egidy APRN and Elaine Rolfes APRN spend numerous hours each year in training and in consultation to keep up to the minute on the latest trends in medication management. Both can prescribe the full range of psychopharmaceuticals including Category II medications (Ritalin, Adderall, etc.). As noted above, we do not routinely provide medication-only services, but instead fold medication management into a larger psychotherapy process.