I’m writing this article because I want people to understand how helpful and life-changing family counseling can be. It’s not just sitting around talking about feelings with your family; it’s finding ways to solve extremely complicated problems. It’s beginning to heal relationships that you can’t fix without intervention by a trained mental health professional. There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re having problems remedying a relationship with your parent, sibling or even a grandparent. That’s why family counseling exists, and it’s an option when can’t seem to fix your problems with the ones you love.
Family relationships are complicated
Family dynamics are complicated; there’s no doubt about that. I’ve struggled with trying to change people, trying to make others see my way of looking at things. I can point to many instances where I’ve butted heads with my parents either individually or collectively because they didn’t see it “my way.” And the truth is, they don’t have to see it my way. There are times when they won’t see it my way whatsoever, and as much as I try – my dad might be stubborn in his opinion. I might have a point I need my mom to understand but, no matter how much I persist with my argument, she can’t see it. It’s frustrating when my parents don’t seem to get what I’m going through or what I need them to hear, but it’s not my fault, and it’s not theirs other. People see things differently, and that’s why therapy exists.
Sometimes, things are so strained that family members don’t know how to handle their conflicts. That’s when going to therapy can help. When an impartial person, a trained professional, is working with the family to show them how to best communicate with one another, it can save their relationships. Family counseling targets problems that are severely impacting how the family functions. I remember being a child and sitting in a counseling session, not understanding why my mom was crying or why I was there. However, I know now that even though it wasn’t clear to me, it was meaningful to my parents that I was present. They wanted me to be a part of the family unit and be able to know what was going on and participate in the process.
Being in Counseling Doesn’t Mean Something is Wrong
My family was good at communicating with each other, but my parents wanted to address common issues that came up as a part of developing and strengthening our relationships. And that’s the thing, some people associate counseling or therapy with something being wrong in the family. That’s not necessarily the case, and looking at family dynamics and changing them so that people feel heard is essential for the health of the family unit. That’s why working with a professional, rather than hashing it out in family meetings, is a great option when people can’t seem to resolve communication issues or persistent conflicts among siblings or parent/child relationships.
When there’s a dangerous situation, family counseling may not be enough. There are instances where the family conflicts are so severe that people need to address them in therapy, such as chronic mental or physical illness that impact the family unit or any abuse. Although, in those situations, it’s more likely that more extreme measures will be taken, such as legal intervention to protect members of the family who are in danger. When there are children who are victims of violence or any abusive behavior at the hands of their caregivers, counseling is a bonus item. They need to be protected from other outside agencies.
Consider getting help
Family counseling can save relationships, remedy communication issues and help people see one another’s point of view. It’s okay to disagree, but being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes is a valuable skill that you can learn with the help of a counselor. If you’re a parent and you don’t know how to fix your relationship with your teen who is rebelling against your rules, consider going to family counseling. Maybe you and your partner are having trouble co-parenting and need help from a trained professional. The point is that any member of the family can suggest getting help. It doesn’t hurt to try. You could see a vast improvement in not only your quality of life but in the lives of your loved ones. Whether you’re seeing a family counselor in your area or working with a mental health professional online, you’ll see the benefits of getting help for your family.