What is Family Counseling?
Family counseling is a type of therapy that is focused on helping families improve their communication skills and resolve conflicts. It’s typically short-term, lasting about 12 50 minute sessions, although some families need more or less than that, depending on the specific concerns that brought them into family counseling, as well as their family dynamics and the commitment of the individuals involved to work towards a healthier, happier family unit.
Family counseling can include either the entire family unit or those who are willing to take part. The purpose of family counseling is to help deepen the familial connections and improve communication and problem-solving skills, so that your family will be able to get through difficult times even after completing therapy.
Generally, family therapy is meant to help create a better home environment, resolve or mitigate issues, and better understand each other and the issues that are impacting your family dynamic.
How Counseling Can Help Your Family
Problems in your family can impact everyone, even if the immediate issue is just between two members of the family or if only one of you is going through something or experiencing troubles. If there are problems in your family, that can impact everyone, even outside of the home, and show up in problems at school, work, or even with everyday interactions with other people.
Family counseling can help you handle issues in your family, such as:
- Conflicts between family members
- Parenting issues
- Sibling discord
- Parent-child issues
- Issues with extended family
- Financial problems
- A family member’s illness
- Problems in school or at work
- Children’s behavioral problems
- A death in the family
- Caring for a sick family member or a family member with special needs
- Planning for/dealing with shared custody of children
- Substance abuse
- Communication issues
- Adapting to major changes
- And more
Since family counseling is focused on communication and how to address difficulties, your family can learn better ways to share what they are thinking and feeling and how to deal with conflicts in a way that is less likely to impact relationships. Additionally, if a family member is struggling with an illness – physical or mental – or an addiction, family counseling can help the other family members learn how to help and what behaviors or comments may be worsening the situation rather than improving it.
Family counseling helps family members learn how to help each other while also preserving their own mental well-being.
What to Expect in Family Counseling
Since family counseling involves talking about the problems in your family, it’s normal for sessions to be difficult, upsetting, and for it to seem like things are initially getting worse, rather than better. Your family therapist is there to monitor the situation, handle the conflicts, and help you work through the hard emotions so that over the course of the family counseling, your family can improve.
When you start family counseling, your therapist will ask every family member what brought them into therapy in order to understand the problems that have caused you to seek out family counseling. It is not uncommon for underlying issues that other family members may not have known about to be revealed in family counseling. Your counselor will also ask about anything that could be contributing to problems with your family dynamic, such as illnesses and environmental conditions.
The amount of family members who attend each session may vary, based on what the therapist thinks would be most beneficial in order to help you all reach your goals. In many cases, therapists will recommend individual sessions alongside family sessions.
Renewing Hope and Happiness at Ogden Psychological Services
Ogden Psychological Services provides family counseling services to help your family improve their relationships with each other and work through whatever troubles you are facing. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.