The family unit encompasses many important relationships for the individuals concerned. The parents have their relationship to keep alive, children’s bond with their parents sets precedents for their future relationships, and siblings compete for parents’ attention. Both external and internal stresses can mount up and place pressure on these relationships, and sometimes it can be difficult to weather the strain. Family counselling helps individuals who feel isolated and overlooked find their voice and repairs broken bonds within the unit. The counsellor will work with the family as a whole and have one to one sessions with individual members where necessary.
The importance of family relationships cannot be overstated, particularly when considering the children who are affected. People are very malleable during childhood, and the bonds formed with parents and the behaviour observed will permeate into their adult life. In this sense, parents having trouble with their relationship are likely to be behaving according to their early life experiences, and the children’s future behaviour will be affected in the same way. A poor upbringing can therefore span generations, affecting the individual’s parenting style and consequently their child’s in later life, and so on. Therapy addresses these negative coping mechanisms and helps bring the family together.
There are a variety of issues that can lead families to seek help from a counsellor. If you and your partner are arguing or constantly disagreeing about how to discipline your children or these is abuse in the family, you should consider psychotherapy. Likewise, issues with communication, children’s behaviour in school, infidelity or relationship problems and bullying can be cause to seek help. If negative relationships within your family or external factors such as debt or moving house are making home life unbearable, further help may be required.
Family therapy is primarily concerned with helping individuals within the group express themselves in a non-judgemental and solution-focused setting. It’s common for individuals to feel as though their needs aren’t met and their opinions aren’t taken seriously, and this is of paramount importance. Each family member is given time to express themselves in counselling, which helps promote understanding of each individual. By expressing the issues in a safe environment mediated by the therapist, the underlying issues driving the conflicts come to light.
The counsellor can also take time to see individuals and couples if it’s deemed necessary. For example, if parents are struggling with debt and the stress they’re experiencing starts to affect their children, then couples counselling can help them deal with issues without impacting their children. Likewise, if one particular child or family member is having personal problems they can be helped on a one to one basis. Regardless of who is the focus of the different sessions, the therapist will help improve communication between family members and teach them new coping mechanisms to facilitate a more peaceful and healthy home life.
If you are considering family counselling to help with the issues in your home, it can be difficult to determine whether or not it’s necessary. We can help you work out whether you’re likely to need psychotherapy and answer any questions you have about treatment. Generally speaking, if problems have persisted for some time, or if the strain on your personal relationships is making day to day existence unbearable, you should consider professional help. Therapists take the stain off your shoulders and help you work through your issues in a safe environment. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, everybody needs it from time to time.
For more information about our costs for family counselling services please see the about us page.