Understanding Family Counseling

When a family wants to work on improving communication and the ties that bind them together, they often turn to family counseling. Family counseling never focuses one one person, but rather the group dynamic as a whole. Patients can participate in group family sessions as well as in individual sessions that address the family dynamic. Family counseling is typically strengths-based, meaning it focuses on the assets of each family member rather than their deficits.

Family counseling treats a number of things, including:

  • Mental health disorders or addiction in a family
  • Traumas such as death or chronic illness
  • Divorce
  • Incarceration
  • Conflict
  • Developmental delays
  • Blended families

Families that take part in family counseling do not need to be biologically related. Sometimes even close friends participate in sessions, provided they are regarded as a part of the family unit.

What Can Come From Family Therapy

Families that participate in family therapy can learn many new coping mechanisms and tools, including:

  • Maintaining healthy boundaries
  • Improved mental health
  • Less interpersonal conflict
  • Conflict resolution tools
  • Better communication
  • A closer bond

This can take time, and those participating need to understand that there is no judgment in family therapy. The ultimate goal in any family session is to increase well-being, communication, and quality of life in a family.

Your First Family Therapy Appointment

What will happen in family therapy? Each family dynamic is different. In your first session, your therapist will work to get to know you and your shared dynamic. She may want to hear from each of you. Keep in mind that a trained professional does not take sides and works to create a safe space for everyone.

As the therapist’s familiarity with your family grows, you will work on building better communication and coping mechanisms. This can take anywhere from 5 to 20 sessions. Individual members can also participate in individual sessions that also address the family dynamic.

In session, you can expect:

  • Sharing and learning family strengths
  • Exploring how communication works and does not work in a family
  • Building better coping mechanisms and tools as a group

Remember, no one should feel judged in a family therapy setting. Your therapist is there to work on improving your family dynamic. Get in touch with us today to explore your family’s therapeutic options.