Our family influences our very being and moulds us into who we are today. Everything we learn from them affects how we communicate and interact with others, our habits and how we view the world. The thing is, our upbringing affects us for better or for worse. But just because your family experiences difficulties communicating and resolving conflict doesn’t mean it can’t change for the better. This is where family counselling comes in. Coupled with persistent efforts from each member, your family can develop a stronger bond and maintain a healthy relationship. Let’s explore this further below.
What is Family Therapy?
Family therapy or family counselling refers to a type of psychotherapy involving all family members. It’s designed to help family members understand and improve their relationships with one another and aid in resolving any current issues or conflicts within the family. A licensed therapist will moderate sessions for all participants, helping them communicate better and identify what needs to be changed to achieve a healthy relationship.
Why Would Families Need Family Therapy?
There are many reasons why family therapy may be beneficial for your family. It’s important to know that it isn’t only applicable when there is a problem, as it can be used as a preventative measure too – to ensure that the family members understand what’s expected from each other, what boundaries are there and what behaviour is acceptable.
What Issues Can Family Counselling Address?
Family therapy can be used to address a wide range of issues, including the following:
Family counselling can be beneficial if your family is having difficulty communicating correctly. A professional family counsellor will help the family members learn better ways to express themselves and what they need from each other.
Dealing with a divorce can be difficult, not just for the parents involved but most especially for the children. Family therapy can help all family members learn how to cope with and adjust to the changes in the family structure, which can benefit everyone.
Suppose one or more family members are struggling with some form of addiction. In that case, family therapy can be beneficial to help all family members understand what’s going on, what needs to be done and what kind of support they all need.
Changes in Family Dynamics
Are you expecting a new addition to the family? Or are you having trouble adjusting to a stepfamily? Family counselling can help address changes in family dynamics, such as the addition of a new baby or learning how to get along with a new family.
Conflict between Siblings
It’s normal for siblings to disagree from time to time. But if the disagreements get past the point of simple misunderstandings and arguments and move towards more profound resentment and even ugly altercations that cause stress to the family, intervention is needed. With family counselling, siblings can learn effective ways to resolve their conflicts healthily.
If one family member’s behaviour is causing issues, then family counselling can help them address what needs to be changed to improve the situation.
Depression in Children
Children experience a myriad of strong emotions as they develop. But just because your child feels sad does not necessarily mean they are depressed. However, if it becomes persistent or starts interfering with normal daily activities, your child may suffer from depression. As a parent, you may not be equipped to handle this type of situation, but family counselling can help you understand what’s going on and how you can support your child.
Suppose one or both parents have difficulty setting and maintaining boundaries with their children. In that case, family counselling can help them understand what is necessary for healthy family life.
Dealing with Death and Chronic Illness in the Family
Family counselling can help family members cope with the death of a loved one and find healthy ways to continue their lives. It can also help them manage and adjust to the changes that come along when a family member is dealing with a chronic illness.
Types of Family Counselling
Functional Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on developing healthy family functioning by addressing communication, problem-solving skills and relationships.
Systemic Family Therapy: This type of therapy looks at the family as a whole unit rather than focusing on individual members. The aim is to identify patterns of behaviour within the family and understand what needs to be changed to achieve healthy family relationships.
Narrative Family Therapy: This therapy focuses on identifying how stories and meaning are created within a family and what needs to be changed for these stories to be more helpful.
Transgenerational Therapy: This therapy looks at family relationships across different generations to identify behaviour patterns and what needs to be changed.
Structural Therapy: This type of therapy focuses on changing family relationships with the goal of creating healthier boundaries and ways of functioning.
Brief Strategic Family Therapy: This therapy adopts a structural framework of family systems to help improve a child or adolescent’s behavioural problems. It is done by enhancing family interactions that are presumed to affect the person’s symptoms directly.
Multisystemic Therapy: This type of therapy is a family-focused and community-based treatment that looks at the family’s environment and what needs to be changed for the family unit to function more effectively. It is mostly aimed at families with juveniles who have committed serious offences and are possibly abusing substances.
Benefits of Family Counselling
Family counselling can offer so many benefits to all family members involved, including:
Improve Communication Skills – Counselling can help family members learn better ways to communicate their needs and feelings with each other.
Strengthen Bonds – Through family counselling, family members can regain trust and strengthen the bonds between them.
Resolving Conflict – Family counselling can help family members find healthy ways to resolve conflicts and disagreements.
Problem-Solving – By working together, family members can learn to work through problems as a team, which is beneficial for everyone involved.
Defining Family Roles – Counselling can help family members define what roles each person should play in the family so that everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Developing Healthy Boundaries – Through counselling, family members learn what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what boundaries are necessary for a healthy family life.
Strengthen Your Family with Family Counselling from Professionals at DIPAC
No family is perfect, as we may all struggle with maintaining healthy relationships at times. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do better or improve our family ties. Through effective and compassionate family counselling, you and your family can learn how to better understand and develop stronger relationships with each other. Start by taking the first step and contact us to learn more about our family counselling services.