Family Counseling 101: Is It Right For You And Your Family?
Family Counseling 101: Is It Right For You And Your Family?
You’ve heard it a million times in the news, on video sharing sites, and on social media posts of celebrities and friends: therapy is effective. It can help people get through troubled times. And if you know someone who’s gone through it before, you may have already seen its positive effects on them.
However, how about family counseling and therapy? You may have heard it a few times before, and your gut feeling may tell you that you should try it. However, you’re hesitating. The problem is whether it’s right for you and your family. That’s a valid question.
If you want to find out the answer, continue reading this short article on family counseling.
A Quick Note
Before you proceed, this article may use the terms family counseling and therapy interchangeably. However, know that while they’re mostly similar, the professionals providing those services may differ. A therapist primarily provides family therapy, and a counselor offers family counseling.
Both have different credentials. A therapist requires a master’s degree and license while a counselor only requires a bachelor’s degree. However, both ultimately give similar benefits to families, with most therapists may have the ability to prescribe medicine and offer extra services.
You Need To Improve Your Conflict Management
With family counseling, you may learn how to manage your household conflicts. In most cases, counselors may help you address those conflicts in their office and provide intervention. If you’re in Buckeye State, you may want to find the best family counseling in Bend Oregon.
One of the key influences on a child’s future is how their parents deal with arguments and fights. A home filled with violence and negative vibes may easily stunt their emotional growth. In some cases, if there are relatives or family members who keep on starting screaming contests, it may cause dysfunction in a household that may make the child decide to spend more time outside than inside the house.
On the other hand, if you keep colliding with your child and instigating hurtful confrontations with them, you may expect that they may resent you for a long time. There are many cases where a child’s resentment may linger until their parents pass away.
You Need To Improve Your Family Dynamics
It has become common for many parents to feel that their children or spouses don’t respect them that much. They often even bring up that they don’t feel heard and supported. If you feel that way, you may want to have some family counseling.
With counselors, they may help you adjust and improve your family dynamics. They may get your family together and re-establish the family dynamics. While they may not achieve as quickly as you want, they may offer immediate relief to you through therapy. With counselors, you may safely share all your troubles and concerns.
Also, a study about family interventions in the National Library of Medicine (NLM) concluded that family counseling and therapy might address the following in the family:
Concerns about inconsistent and unstable parenting
Marital issues and effects of the aftermath of a divorce
Persistent and problematic conflicts between parents and siblings
You Need To Solve A Complicated Family Issue
Sometimes, there are family issues that you may not solve on your own. Suppose your family is grieving because of a loss. It can be challenging to obtain support from each other as all of you are devastated. A family counselor can aid you in getting through tragedies and traumas if you’re at your wits’ end.
Having your whole family in counseling can let you adjust and cope with whatever’s troubling you. Some common complicated and challenging concerns most family counselors deal with are domestic violence, sexual abuse, chronic and terminal illnesses, and custody issues after a divorce. And unfortunately, these incidents have become far too common since the recent pandemic.
You Need To Improve Your Family’s Mental Toughness
If your family has a history of mental breakdowns and mental illnesses, you may want to get family counseling. Doing so can help your family learn more effective ways to communicate and interact without rubbing each other the wrong way.
Aside from learning, your family can benefit from counseling by having more opportunities to become more open with each other. With counseling, you can prepare yourselves to face potential conflicts in the future.
And if your child seems to be heading toward depression, know that family counseling and therapy can be effective for adolescence at reducing the risk of developing various mental health conditions.
You Need To Get Your Child Adapt To School Life Properly
Another typical type of case family counselors see in their offices is the sudden appearance of children's problematic behavior in school. Their grades may also drop, and they may not be as excited to go to school anymore.
Of course, your kid’s difficulty in school may not be their fault. There may be something in the school that’s affecting them negatively. And unfortunately, they’re having difficulties being honest with you. A family counselor can help you make them open up and understand what’s going on with them.
And if the child may be the one who’s actually at fault or having issues of their own, family counseling and therapy can help them. According to an entry in the Journal of Family Therapy (JFT), families undergoing counseling and therapy can help address various concerns with children. These include conduct disorders, offending behavior, substance addiction, and depression.
You Need To Intervene In A Family Member’s Substance Addiction
Not all families have the mental fortitude and social skills to help a family member drown in addiction, and you shouldn’t feel bad about it. With the recent news about the current drug epidemic in the country, you should do all you can before your family member’s addiction becomes more extreme, or they may accidentally end up in a drug overdose.
A family counselor can guide you on how to deal with a troubled family member without them feeling singled out. They can start with therapeutic interventions, which can help the estranged family member feel safe and cared for, and continue with any potential medical recommendations for their addiction.
You Need To Address The Escapism Behavior In Your Family
People deal with their fight and flight responses daily, and your family might not be an exception. While it’s good for people to avoid family problems from time to time, it can be a problem when they become chronic and prevalent.
For example, you’d rather spend more time at work instead of dealing with a serious family issue. Your spouse may consider a divorce. And your kids may make it a point to spend less time in the house or run away.
Family counseling can be your first step to addressing the harmful escapist behavior that your family developed. With the counseling sessions, you may learn how to deal with and solve the family issues you’ve left on the backburner for a long time that are eating away at your family slowly.
You Need To Receive Professional Help For A Family Member Plans To Harm Themself
It’s difficult even for family members to detect if one of them plans to harm themself. If you believe they’re not showing any signs but you may have a hunch that an event or trauma may push a family member to think that they want to harm themself, you may want to go through family counseling immediately.
On the other hand, you may consider it an emergency if you’ve spotted some signs that it’s the case. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), some of the signs a person may commit suicide are the following:
They talk about them being a burden, experiencing great shame or guilt, and wanting to die
They’re often extremely sad, agitated, anxious, and emotional. They may also feel empty, purposeless, and trapped.
They’re suddenly withdrawing from society, abusing substances, taking more risks, and wanting to eat or sleep less or more than usual.
If you think any signs are present, immediately gather more information about this topic. You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK). You can also reach a crisis text line (message 741741 with “Hello”).
These are the potential reasons why family counseling may be right for you. If you’re still hesitating, you may want to call a family counselor and ask them directly. They’d happily answer your questions and honestly tell you if you need it for your household. And as a rule of thumb, don’t decide on your own. Seek the opinion of those close to you. In this way, you’d have various perspectives regarding your situation.
Depending on your concern, the family counselor may offer various counseling and therapy. A few are functional, multisystemic, transgenerational, structural, and brief strategic family therapy. You may want to look at those types before contacting a family counselor to make it easier for you to understand the recommendations they may give you quickly. Consider the ideas mentioned here as you plan and prepare.