The point behind family counseling is to aim to address psychological, behavioral, and emotional issues that causes family problems. It helps to develop and maintain healthy relationships. It can help with:
- developing healthy boundaries
- improving communication
- defining someone’s role within the family
- improving family dynamics and relationships
- providing strength and coping tools for family members
- addressing dysfunctional interactions
- improving the family’s problem-solving abilities
- conduct disorders
- substance addictions
- offending behavior
- difficulty communicating or expressing emotions
- conflicts between siblings
- inconsistent parenting
- marital problems
- developing a functional and healthy relationship following a divorce
- adapting to a major change
- dealing with chronic illness or death in the family
Types of family counseling
Some therapist offer home visits and could provide families with more comfort than an office-base session. There are multiple different types of family counseling that is offered. These include:
Functional Family Therapy
This will mainly focus on families with children or adolescent that have complex emotional or behavior problems. The child and parents may end up attending 8-30 weekly sessions. It helps families learn strategies to they can use to deal with their child’s behavior and improve family functioning.
This therapy type addresses any behavioral and emotional problems of children or adolescents. It will also focus on broader issues that have to due with the child’s behavior. For instance, it could be used to improve their interaction with social systems like schools and neighborhoods.
Therapists will examine the interactions between the parents and children. The aim is to understand how the communication can cause problems within the family. It is useful when issues and behavior patterns persists across generations. It can also be helpful to predict how problems can develop in the future.
Brief Strategic Family Therapy
The goal of brief strategic therapy is to try and change the patterns of interaction between family members. It is time-limited and intervenes in family problems and target those problems that are leading to problematic symptoms showing in youths.
Manages issues that arise due to family structure. It aims to achieve a balanced family hierarchy and develop appropriate boundaries between members. The main difference with structural therapy is to focus on the structure rather than a specific behavior that causes problems.
Which type is best for your family?
It is important to chose a therapist that is going to be best for your family and situation. Here are some things to consider when deciding on a therapist:
- Ask your family primary care doctor for suggestions
- Ask a trusted friend for a recommendation to a therapist
- Check the therapists experience and qualifications before your visit.
- Ask for a consult and discuss with the potential therapist to see if they would be a good choice for your family.
- Check with your insurance that the service and therapist are covered through your insurance plan.
- Accept that it may be a few sessions in before you will be able to see if they are a right fit for what your family needs.
Remember that your end goal is to get family counseling to address any underlying problems that may be causing family issues. Depending on the issue that your family is having, there may be a specific type of counseling you will need. So the answer in the end is yes there are benefits to attending family counseling sessions if you are experiencing issues within your family.