Do you have issues with your child’s bad behavior? Family counseling may help. Family counseling is a type of psychotherapy that may help promote better understanding of relationships within a family. Family counseling may be used because of a specific incident such as a bad divorce or the approaching death of a family member. It may address the needs of the family when one family member suffers from a mental or physical illness that alters his or her behavior or habits in negative ways.
Even though it may be uncomfortable sharing feelings about one another, all family members are required to be present during family counseling. Oftentimes, a family member who suffers from drug addiction or alcoholism may not be able attend counseling sessions. They may actually be the reason why other family members are seeking family counseling.
The goal of the therapist is to observe the interaction between the family members. Observing the perception of non-interacting family members is the other part. The therapist will often find a way to get all family members involved, talking, and sharing. If two or more members of the family get into an argument, the therapist may want to know how the uninvolved members of the family deal with the disagreement as well as how the disagreeing parties fight with each other.
The therapist usually observes the different personalities of the family members and helps them communicate better with each other. Family counseling may be part encouragement and part instruction. The therapist will let family members talk and at the same time guide them to share more freely. In fact, it teaches family members better and more positive ways of communicating to replace the old and negative patterns of communication.
Poor communication, especially when filled with anger and hatred, can affect another person’s behavior and happiness. Family members should always feel safe during a forum or session. Only then can they discuss the things they do not like about the behavior of other family members.
The therapist often acts as a moderator in family counseling. He or she ensures that each and every family member gets enough time to express concerns and contributes to how the overall family can do better. Sometimes the therapist can identify family members who need more than the benefits of family counseling, and might need individual therapy.
The family may be advised that they cannot progress to a better relationship format without particular individuals receiving more help, and perhaps even needing medication. For example, a member who wants to be a better parent but has a bipolar disorder may be unable to change without a combination of individual therapy and medication.
Family counseling may take four to five sessions before seeing any benefit. Sometimes, to resolve significant or ongoing family issues, they may require more help and might need twenty to thirty sessions to resolve them. Although, it is always best to have good family relations with every member, not everyone has that. Sometimes, family counseling is a necessary treatment option to improve relationships in your household.