Keeping the family together is not an easy feat. Even the most connected of families will encounter bumps along the way. Some petty arguments and issues can easily be fixed but when the feud is rooted in a break down in communication, deep resentment or poor behaviour, it can threaten to break the family apart. It’s time to speak to a family therapist.
Family therapy, also known as family counselling, is a therapeutic intervention that focuses on issues that affect the state of the relationship between immediate family and sometimes, extended family members. It allows families and couples to work confidentially towards making healthy changes to fix issues as well as to nurture the relationship.
Issues Family Counselling Can Make a Positive Difference
Some of the common family issues that family therapy encounters include:
- Coping with Grief – Going through a recent death or loss can leave an emotional vacuum in the family. It would take time before reaching acceptance and moving on from the pain. A family therapist can help ease the grieving process for all family members.
- Financial Problems – Rifts in family relationships can sometimes arise from financial distress or family business pressures. This can lead to a breakdown in communication, emotional distress and arguments. Working on the relationship, with a counsellor, to engage in beneficial outcomes often leads to positive results. Family members find a way to tackle the issues and work together to move forward.
- Marriage and Relationship Issues – Relationships have their ups and downs. Arguments that stem from differences in opinion and personalities are inevitable. When you can’t keep a conversation going, but you want to save your relationship or marriage from crumbling, couples counselling can help you sort it out. But therapy sessions don’t always have to involve relationships at the brink of separation. Happily, couples also seek the guidance of a family therapist to overcome tension causing issues before they become major ones, enriching their relationship.
- Separation and Divorce –Going through a separation or divorce can be extremely stressful, not just for the couple but also for children. A family counsellor helps family members deal with the pain of going through the process of divorce. Working with the individual family members strategies are developed for the future.
- Child Behavioral Problems – When a child or teen misbehaves, it pays to figure out the underlying cause. It’s often the children that feel impacted from family problems. They also have issues to face with school and peers. Whether its peer pressure, bullying, undisclosed harassment, reaction to divorce, or other family issues, therapy sessions with a family counselor can help your child or teen deal with it.
- Substance Abuse – Substance abuse doesn’t just affect the user but also those around the person. When the stress of living with an addict is becoming disruptive, it’s time to seek intervention.
- Communication Issues – Misunderstandings can cause gaps between family members that could last for years. But estrangement can be prevented with the help of family therapy. The counsellor can help family members sort out problems and learn better communication techniques to prevent such issues from happening.
- Dealing with Mental Illness – It’s very challenging and stressful to live with a family member who’s been diagnosed with a mental health issue. Many feel helpless or resort to self-blame or refuse to receive emotional support. The best way to look after someone with mental health issues is to look after your own wellbeing. By working with a counsellor you can better understand the condition the relative is suffering from, how to support the person while learning new coping strategies for the wellbeing of yourself and other family members.
- Transition Periods – Adjusting to changes in family circumstances can be difficult for some family members. Family roles could change due to recent marriages, having a newborn baby, or adoption. Family members could use a therapist’s guidance in transitioning to these new roles.
If you have a situation in your family that is affecting the relationships negatively seek help. Family therapy with a registered psychologist is confidential. It’s all about helping your family move forward from a current situation, to develop new understanding and life changing strategies to overcome the present problems and help your family move forward.