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What are the Reasons Your Family May Benefit From Family Counseling?
As you look for a family counselor, consider all of the options available, including a traditional, local counselor and online therapists. There are counselors out there who will be an ideal place for your family to start exploring therapy. If you are thinking about family counseling, that in itself is a good signifier that you need it. As you make this important decision to seek outside support, here are some reasons that indicate that your family may benefit from counseling.
1. The Blended Family
A blended family is when two separate family units decide to become one. This can happen when one person with two children marries someone else that has one child. A blended family can also occur when someone without kids marries a parent or, in the same situation, the couple then has children of their own, creating half-siblings.
These types of families can be difficult to navigate, especially when there are other parents from previous relationships still involved in the children's lives. The step-parent role can be full of ongoing negotiations as you create boundaries. Whatever role you have, everyone's goal is probably to have a harmonious family unit where all members feel heard and acknowledged. Family counseling can help you with this. Family therapy can be an easy way for families to voice concerns, and find connections with the support of a counselor.
2. The Disconnected Family
Are you noticing that your family doesn't talk anymore? Are your teenagers sitting around the dinner table Tweeting and Tik-Tok-ing rather than telling you about their day? Do you find yourself reaching for your phone to check your messages before you even get out of bed in the morning to connect with the family? Do you know who your husband went to lunch with before he updated his Instagram feed and tagged you?
The more connected we are to our phones and virtual worlds, the less connected we may be with the people who mean the most to us. Family counseling can help families who aren't communicating effectively get unplugged from the electronics and back in tune with each other. Counselors will help spark the connection that technology took away from families.
3. Feeling Alone in a Family
Teenagers can be moody and adolescents begin to have a desire for privacy. Sometimes your wife may want a day to herself to get away from her busy motherhood, or your husband may long for a weekend fishing trip with the guys. Wanting some alone time is normal for everyone, no matter what age you are. Families will go through phases of wanting alone time or wanting more family time.
But if you see a family member withdrawing from the family, preferring to stay in their room rather than come down for dinner every night, not socializing with their friends or family anymore, this can become a major problem.
Often, people who slowly withdraw from social situations may be suffering from depression or other mental health issues that need to be addressed. Other times a family member, especially a child, who withdraws may be dealing with bullying or abuse. No matter the reason, family counseling can help you reconnect. A family therapist will help you and your family get to the bottom of what is causing the disconnect.
4. The Drama Queen: Children, PreTeens, Teens, Parents
If you are a parent, there has been a time where you were a teenager, so you know that teenagers need to come with a whole other set of instructions that you will never get. Teenage years are full of emotion, angst, and questioning. If your teen is having frequent meltdowns and getting overly emotional, this may be a sign of an underlying issue.
Children that act out often do not have a reason for their behavior. Most people have trouble regulating their emotions until their brains are fully developed around age 22-25 and others never quite get a grip on it. Family counseling or family therapy can help identify the underlying issues happening in your family that are causing emotional torment for your children and family. Counselors will allow both the children and the parents of the family to voice their concerns during family therapy in order to create a better connection between the whole family.
Addiction can affect anyone in the family from your spouse to your teen or extended family members. Even if the addict is not in your immediate family, the consequences of their actions may be felt strongly. Alcohol and drug abuse can be hard to come to terms with, especially when there is either a strong history or lack of history of drug and alcohol use in the family, but it is not something your family has to deal with alone.
Whether your loved one needs an intervention, rehab services, or counseling, the entire family will benefit from family counseling or therapy and learning how to support each other and fight addiction together. In cases of addiction family counseling is a great place for every member of the family to speak up about how it is affecting them.
6. The Secret Keeper
Having secrets, or certain things you keep to yourself, is natural and healthy. While being an open book can be important in a family and communication is essential in marriage, having a few things you keep to yourself shouldn't hurt anyone. However, if you find yourself constantly keeping things from your spouse or arranging things purposely for your spouse or family to not find out, this behavior is deceitful and secretive and can lead to some major marriage blow-ups. These habits will affect the entire family.
Family counseling can help you and your spouse discover the underlying cause of the distance created between you and why secrets are being kept. A family counselor can also help to bridge the communication gap you are experiencing with your partner. During therapy, each family member may have individual or collective time with the family counselor to get to the source of the family or partner disconnect.
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