Undoubtedly, when a family is fit and happy, everything seems perfect. Dads and moms are most grateful and relaxed when they have a healthy relationship with each other and with their children.
Not all families are as lucky, though. The stresses of everyday life – family crisis, a mental health condition, a job loss, or the death of a loved one – can take a toll on one or more family members and can impact the entire family at any time.
Many families have become resilient to issues and matters like the ones mentioned above, but even the strongest families might feel the need to seek help from a counselor.
Knowing when family counseling is beneficial for your family can be daunting. For parents, it could make them feel like they have not been responsible enough for taking care of their kids or that they have failed at raising them. But the truth is, deciding to go into counseling can mean that you are taking a big step towards improvement. Think about it as an extra tool that can help you and your children discover new skills to work through your conflicts, communication problems, and concerns about discipline and instilling other significant values.
Deciding To Seek Help
If your family is having one or more of these indications, it could be time to think about consulting the services of a licensed family counselor.
- Family members seem to respond to events extremely emotionally. Do they react with arguments with more fear, anger, or sadness?
- One or more members have trouble performing in their optimal capacity, and they drain the energy of the entire family. Are the normal routines becoming heavier?
- There is withdrawal from family life. Is one of your kids isolating himself or herself and not communicating enough?
- One or more family members display an abnormal kind of violence, like hurting each other instead of just playing around. Do you see any assault within the home?
- Members of the family confide about feelings of hopelessness or failure. Are you having difficulty helping your children out with the challenges that they are facing? Do you think that the whole family might suffer if you don’t seek outside help?
- The family has gone through a traumatic event, and all the members are having difficulty dealing with it. Do you feel like you are all having trouble adjusting to the aftermath?
- There is a substance abuse problem in the family. Alcohol and drug abuse is very challenging for parents and even for kids. Perhaps some of the members have developed an eating disorder?
Other Things To Consider
Once you agree that it is the right time to go into family counseling, the challenge is selecting the right counselor for you. Before doing so, consider these:
- Insurance coverage for family counseling. Health insurance companies now cater healthcare services, but family counseling is not often considered part of mental healthcare. Consult with your employer and ask if some family counselors in your area accept coverage for family therapy or group therapy.
- Employee Assistance Programs. A lot of employers provide this for their workers. The EAP is a great step to begin finding counseling options, and services are typically free of charge or have a small amount of payment to be shouldered by the employer.
Finding A Family Counselor
Selecting a suitable counselor for the family takes time and effort. Here are several tips to help you get started.
Personal Referrals. These are among the best sources for counselor referrals – family and friends who have reaped the benefits of counseling services. Ask them about their experience and get suggestions about how to respond to your first few sessions.
Consult Your Physician. Family physicians often have names of qualified mental health providers like counselors and therapists in your area. They frequently have ideas about which of these professionals can offer the most suitable help for your family.
Online Recommendations. Organizations like the American Association For Family And Marriage Therapy have locator services that allow you to search by area for qualified organization members.
When interviewing a counselor who will potentially work with your family, ask these significant queries:
- Did you get a degree in family counseling or therapy?
- How many years of experience have you had?
- Were you officially supervised while in clinical practice?
- Tell us of some of your experiences in managing family problems.
- What are your ethical and personal approaches to family counseling?
Deciding to go through family counseling for managing issues and concerns within your family is a big move. However, such a move is essential and indispensable when all resources within the family have become insufficient, and the problems have gotten out of hand. Seeking the help of a family counselor is not yielding to defeat or failure. It is a vital step to helping rebuild a family’s bond and strength.