Family counselling is a type of psychological counselling that looks into a family’s concerns and issues that are impacting the healthy functioning of the family unit. The goal of family therapy is to help in reducing the communication gap, equip the members with techniques to deal with stressful times and building a better functioning home environment. During the family counselling sessions, mental health therapist will provide a safe, non-judgemental environment where the family can express feelings, ask questions, and generate ideas to better handle the issues. Mental health therapist makes sure that every member of the family is heard, understood and validated.
Who can seek family counselling sessions: Families seek counselling for a variety of reasons. Some seek help to improve relationships with a certain family member, for example, adjustment to a new family member at home, child behavioural problems, or changes to daily life such as a family going through a divorce. Other families might seek support to cope with one of the members suffering from mental illness or someone struggling with substance use. A comprehensive mental health assessment can help the mental health therapist to provide an appropriate diagnosis.
What you can expect from the counselling sessions: Family counselling sessions are conducted by qualified mental health therapists such as psychologists, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers, who have intensive training in mental health assessment and also in managing family dynamics. Sessions usually take about 50 minutes to an hour and they can be conducted online or in-person at a family counselling centre. These counselling sessions are often short-term and include members who are willing to work things out. The goals of the counselling sessions depend on the presenting problems faced by the family members.
During the sessions, the family counselling centre therapist aims to understand the family’s ability to solve problems, their roles, exploring how members interact with each other and working on the unhealthy communication styles, behaviour patterns to identify issues, that are contributing to the conflict and ways to work through these issues by identifying each member’s strengths and weaknesses. So, the sessions might go through the following stages:
● Assessing the family and defining the problem
● Building goals for the counselling sessions
● Developing treatment plan and working on the defined problems
● Termination phase
One needs to keep in mind that every therapist has their unique style of conducting the counselling sessions but the sessions usually have some of the following benefits:
● Improving communication style: Misunderstanding usually stems out of lack of communication among family members so one of the aims of family counselling sessions is to identify the unhealthy communication styles and enable each member to voice out their concerns, feelings in a healthier manner.
● Provides skills to cope with challenging situation in a more productive way: Family therapist can help uncover the root cause of the problem and help them address it by exploring and looking at the issue from a new perspective.
● Helps achieve a sense of togetherness and bonding: Therapist might help you explore activities on how the whole family can take time to bond with each other.
Seeking family counselling online or in-person at a family counselling centre, at first looks scary, but trust your intuition that you are doing what is best for your family and at the end you all will come out stronger. We, at Samvedna Care, offer specialized services as above for everyone in need. Reach out to us when you find that your family member’s and your emotional difficulties are piling up. We are here for you. For more resources, check Samvedna Care’s website.