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Is your family going through a rough patch? Whether the issue itself, stems from a lack of understanding between those involved, sibling conflict, or developmental disagreements with a child, a difficult situation can have an effect on the entire family. Family counseling, or family therapy, can be helpful when problems arise and can help restore and improve communication.
CHALLENGES FAMILIES FACE
Since families come in all shapes and sizes, challenges families face will naturally be unique. However, there are certain situations that we regularly see that draw in multiple family members. These include:
- The family experienced a significant loss
- A family member is suffering from substance abuse
- Issues between parents (parenting issues or going through a divorce)
- Child or teenage behavioral issues such as anger outbursts
- Sibling conflict
Within families, the parental team faces a significant amount of pressure. Again, the possibilities are endless, but common conflicts can include in-laws sticking their nose your relationship, difference in opinion when it comes to raising children, and even trauma, such as domestic violence, or alcohol and drug abuse. It can be challenging to watch family members struggle, and in most cases, you may not know how to resolve the problem. Seeking support from a mental health professional can help parents and families develop acceptance and skills to repair relationships that may seem unsalvageable.
Additional PARENTING AND FAMILY ISSUES
- Being a single parent
- Problems caused by divorced parents entering new relationships
- Fewer opportunities for parents and children to spend time together
Being a parent carries a lot of responsibility, and the process can be difficult at times. Whether you are married or single, you may have feelings as though you are on your own, especially if you are dealing with a difficult situation or behavior issues with your child. It’s important to address these problems, and seeking the help of a therapist and/or parent support group can alleviate the stress.
Benefits of PARENTING SUPPORT
Sometimes a parent needs guidance when reinforcing rules and setting boundaries for a child. If a person is going through a divorce, this can affect a child or children involved. Each of this issues can affect a family unit, and its important that you don’t weather the storm alone. Parent support groups can assist with improving parenting skills, as well as relationships between the parent and child.
Types of support available for parents
- Therapy can be in the form of a support group with other parents, one-on-one sessions with a therapist, or may involve family counseling. Support can be helpful if you have a young child who is going through some kind of developmental or genetic disorder.
- Parenting support can take the form of group therapy which involves meeting with other parents to discuss your child’s behaviors and offer advice to one another.
HOW FAMILY COUNSELING May HELP
Family counseling can help open up a line of dialogue and communication and can help family members understand each other’s perspectives. This makes it easier to resolve disputes. During the counseling sessions, each member has the ability to learn ways of communicating better, as well as developing techniques to de-escalate arguments while making sure that everybody is getting heard. This can also help with parenting problems such as conflicting parenting styles, rule enforcement and remaining consistent with your child once the rules are established.
Parenting and family issues are oftentimes intertwined. Treatment methods vary and will depend on an individual or family situation. The healing process may focus on improving communication between family members, as well as finding healthy ways of resolving a conflict. Setting clear boundaries and communicating effectively as a parental unit can set a good example for your children and/or your spouse. If a child is suffering from a genetic disorder or a mental health condition, these are topics that can be addressed with family or individual counseling. Couples counseling is effective at supporting parents in child-rearing.
What to expect in Therapy
Family therapy or counseling can be used in addition to individual treatment. The goal is to improve relationships and improve methods of communication and conflict resolution. Families are a unique ecosystem, and issues affecting one member of a family can reverberate and affect the whole unit. Additional benefits of this type of counseling are that in some instances, the sessions can heal emotional wounds in a short period of time.