Family counselling is used to encourage conversation between members of the family. Who is going to speak? What is blocking that? What do they want to talk about? It might clarify a new pattern of being together after a marital breakdown or remarriage. It can also help to process feelings of being excluded or rejected which might be otherwise acted out in disruptive behaviour; misunderstood by the other family members. Communication might be repaired or established for the first time. Members may feel supported and encouraged to manage changes with the help of an impartial trained family counsellor.
Family problems from mild to severe will challenge every family at some point. These can result from behavioural and mental health issues in the family or from specific stressful events. Common family problems include:
- Financial issues
- Substance abuse
- Behavioural issues and academic concerns in children and adolescents
- Mental health concerns
- Separation, divorce, or blended family adjustments
- Chronic illness
Resolving family issues requires the cooperation of everyone in the family, and this provides a great opportunity to strengthen family ties and interactions. Families can learn to understand one another better, communicate more effectively, and work proactively to disrupt unhealthy patterns.
Working with family issues can be difficult at times as each person brings their own perception and experiences that others may not agree with. Counselling is an opportunity to express these views and opinions in a safe environment without feeling judged and enables the other family members to explore these views and discuss the way forward for the family as a whole.