What is Family Counseling?
Families can be highly supportive in times of need but on a few occasions relationships in families can but put under a fair amount of strain which can make some members feel isolated or overlooked.
It may be a case of siblings not seeing eye to eye, or when parents are going through a separation or divorce and the children are becoming affected. Family counseling was designed to help address specific issues which affect psychological aspects in a family’s health, it can be used as a primary method for the treatment or to compliment another approach.
What is Family Counseling?
The whole family can benefit from therapy when they are faced with stressful events which can put a strain on a family relationship. Divorce, death, or financial hardships and mental health problems are just a few of the situations where the whole family has been affected, and where one or more family members has become exposed to depression, drinking, substance abuse, and chronic illness, or even just everyday concerns such as family conflicts, communication problems and a child’s behavioral problems towards the parents.
These family counseling therapy sessions promote, a level of understanding and communication with family members to resolve the problems associated with one or more of the individuals involved. As an example, if a child has a behavior problem, the family patterns would be focused on rather than the child’s behavior to find the root cause of the problem.
“My mom and pops always argued. I was scared they was gonna split and leave me alone. I found these guys, and they came to the house. Dad don’t work so hard now and moms much happier.”
- Jessie J Brookes (Phoenix North)
Meeting a Family Therapist
Family Counseling sessions can be provided by a marriage and family therapists who are duly licensed (LMFT) as well as social workers, professional counselors and psychologists who have had formal training and are experienced in family therapy can include these principles in their field of work.
Therapy of this type will be solution focused and is only intended for short term, only 9 sessions may be required to achieve this, with sessions lasting just under 1 hour and being held once per week.
Depending on the issue at hand, the family members which attend can vary in number and each member may be offered stand-alone therapy sessions as an addition to the family sessions to reach the therapy goals. These family counseling sessions may be held in different settings, these can be community agencies, residential treatment centers or at family counseling services centers.
Approaches to Family Therapy
The different forms of family counseling have borrowed quite heavily from systems theory, yet there are others which are based on psychological methods and approaches like cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic and experimental.
All the different approaches to family therapy and family counseling have been designed with the sole function of helping families have improved forms of communication, self-problem solving skills, improving their connections and relationships with each other and their coping skills with problems that they feel are outside of a family.
No matter what problems a family faces, these can be resolved if families communicate their problems or fears and the other members come to accept that these problems may not be conscious efforts by any of the family members.