Everything You Need to Know About Family Counseling
Updated May 13, 2021
Medically Reviewed By: Chante’ Gamby, LCSW
Many families wrestle with whether or not family counseling is the best decision for them. The overall objective of family counseling is to improve interactions between relatives, strengthen or foster connects, and engender positive, constructive change. While this form of psychotherapy has certainly benefited the lives of certain individuals, it is still important for individuals to maintain a clear understanding of family counseling and all that it entails before attendance.
An Overview Of Family Counseling
In most cases, families seek out therapy or counseling when there is discord amongst themselves or in shared environments, reports Health Psych. While the objective of family therapy ultimately seeks to repair damaged relationships, there are certain methods which are frequently employed to reach the endgame above successfully.
Unlike other forms of psychotherapy and counseling, family therapy tackles problems from a unique and somewhat unprecedented angle. Discord amongst the various relatives is seen and treated as a separate entity in need of alterations, as opposed to individuals being the problem themselves.
Circumstances Which May Prompt Or Benefit From Family Counseling
There are several instances where relatives may require family therapy to recover from trauma or other rifts. Child behavioral problems, death(s), domestic abuse, and substance abuse are just a few of many examples. Family therapy helps tackle the preceding problems in several different ways.
Firstly, family counselors and therapists are trained to help relatives lessen conflict and better communication with one another. These licensed professionals can sit down with families, get to know each person, and observe existing dynamics and dichotomies which could be impacting and contributing to trouble amongst relatives. With the cooperation of the relatives, the counselors can begin to work with the family and gradually take on the problems and find solutions so that the family can begin to heal and come together.
Common Versions Of Family Counseling
Positive Psychology Program cites Bowenian, structural, systemic, and strategic therapy as the four most common types of family therapy. Each of the methods above comes with its benefits depending on the structure and dynamics of relatives who are seeking help.
Bowenian therapy is most conducive for persons who are seeking to improve their relationships with family members without their relatives being present during counseling sessions. Entire families are not always willing to seek out professional help and cannot be forced to. Therefore, Bowenian therapy seeks to help the individual at hand learn how to vent in healthy, productive manners and abstain from emotional outbursts when around their relatives. Like any other form of counseling, Bowenian therapy takes time. People who receive this form of counseling should expect to notice gradual progress.
Next comes structural therapy. Unlike Bowenian therapy, this form of counseling focuses on the familial dynamics between parents and children. Structural therapy moreover emphasizes the importance of acceptable limitations. Children are encouraged to remember that the final decisions ultimately rest with their parents, while both parties are aided in strengthening their relationships with each other. The counselor metaphorically and temporarily becomes part of the family to help parents and children enact the preceding changes.
Systemic therapy is arguably one of the most intricate and layered forms of family therapy. Relatives are encouraged to explore the underlying causes of their issues and furthermore understand the meanings behind their relatives' conduct. This process can be somewhat challenging depending on family dynamics and the severity of discord. Counselors take a more hands-off approach to systemic therapy. The ultimate purpose of this form of therapy is for families to comprehend and solve their problems. When needed, the systemic therapist can provide a different perspective or simply observe.
Last but certainly not least on the list of common family therapy versions is strategic therapy. Unlike the three forms above of therapy, this one entails the counselor assigning specific tasks to the relatives at hand. Usually, the tasks will relate to how the family connects and communicates with one another. The tasks are also designed to help each relative make better decisions, while ultimately benefits the family unit, as a whole. Counselors are thought to hold the most power throughout strategic therapy sessions.
Upsides And Goals Of Family Counseling
The ultimate upsides and goals of family therapy are to strengthen bonds, improve communication, and bring relatives together as a whole. However, the practices above can mean different things to different relatives. Each family is unique and has their struggles and battles to overcome. Nevertheless, many well-documented, overall benefits transcend all struggles and benefit virtually who seeks out and completes the process of family therapy.
Increased empathy and improved communication skills are some of the most common and most needed benefits of family therapy. For relatives to experience healthy relationships and bonds with one another, empathy and communication are paramount. If families do not truly care for each other, if they cannot positively interact with one another, strong, positive relationships are virtually impossible. Far too many familial issues stem from a lack of empathy and poor communication skills.
Anger management is another goal and upside that inherently comes along with successful family therapy. While anger is a part of life, knowledge of how to handle said anger without lashing out at loved ones is equally as important as empathy and improved communication skills. Words said in anger can never be taken back and can moreover leave wounds that last a lifetime. Relatives who aspire to better their familial ties must manage their anger and not let their anger manage them.
Family counseling has also been known to reunite estranged relatives, ease feelings of stress and tension, foster honesty and trust, and help relatives forgive each other for past wrongs and prior transgressions. Learning how to forgive one another and move forward together is critical for families who want to improve the quality of their relationships.
Is Family Counseling Right For You And Your Family?
While many specialists recommend that families in crisis seek out counseling or therapy, there is some family who has reservations regarding professional assistance. In some cases, it takes time for people to adjust to the notion and concept of opening up someone they do not know. However, family counselors and therapists only have the best interests at heart for the people they work with.
Families who have certain issues such as behavioral issues with children, recent traumatic experiences, substance abuse issues, or difficulty with getting along with one another. Each of the issues above is extremely likely to foster and worsen if they are not addressed. Spending time with a family counselor can only help relatives heal wounds and overcome challenges.
In certain situations, there are families where one or some relatives wish to attend therapy whereas others do not. This dichotomy can present a unique challenge, especially when the family as a whole is suffering due to an unresolved problem. In the instance above, relatives who are open to family counseling should certainly attend.
Not only will they learn new interpersonal skills, grow, and strengthen their relationships with one another, but they may even convince more hesitant family members to give therapy a try within time. In instances where only one individual is open to seeking family counseling, Bowenian therapy will likely prove to be most beneficial.
A Final Word
Seeking out family counseling or other forms of professional help is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, yet far too many people struggle with doing so or view it as a sign or admission of weakness. The truth of the matter is that life can be challenging. Obstacles will inevitably arise, and the manner in which they are handled and dealt with makes all the difference in the world. Some of the bravest and strongest individuals are the ones who ask for assistance when they need it.
Here at Regain, we provide ourselves on providing the best possible quality of therapy. We offer to counsel for individuals, couples, and families, but ultimately, we are here to meet your needs and help you and your loved ones to live your best life. Communication, companionship, and trust are some of our core values. We thrive on helping the world around us one person or family at a time.
Unlike other companies which provide counseling and therapy services, Regain is readily available for individuals and families at any given time. Our platform is designed to aid people who aspire to overcome struggles and problems that they may be experiencing. Our service is also completely confidential and can be used for as long or short a period as you feel necessary. Regain is ultimately here to help you.
Hopefully, the preceding information regarding family counseling and Regain services was helpful and informative. There are so many options for people who are looking to overcome challenges with their relatives and loved one. Nobody should ever feel as though they are alone or have no one to turn to. Ultimately, the choice is up to you and your family, but if you ever feel the inclination to contact Regain for any reason, you can do so by clicking here.
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