During sessions I will see parents and children individually at times to learn perspectives while family members develop trust and feel safe expressing feelings and thoughts openly.
The end goal for family therapy is that families communicate effectively, trust is developed, and functioning within the family system has been satisfied by all family members.
The Benefits of Family Therapy
1. Improve communication within the family unit:
It’s common that most members of the family find it very difficult at being open to each other. This tends to create distance and disconnection between members thus paving the way for much bigger problems in the future. Nonetheless, a family counselor can help all the family members understand their roles in the family, and also show them the benefits of open and honest communication. If a member of the family is suffering from a disability all members would be going through their own process about this and own loss feelings which can easily fragment the family unit. Nevertheless, a counseling session for all members can help to ‘break the ice’ and enable them to understand each other positively without creating conflicts.
2. Enhance relationships and strengthen bonds:
Most siblings have their conflicts at times and depending on the nature of them, if they go unresolved it can seriously harm the connection in the family. Sometimes siblings develop jealousy on one another, and could be fighting for attention among many other things. It is easy for parents to fail to understand these children or invalidate the significance, hence raising children with unresolved feelings. Nonetheless, seeing a family counselor should help you understand your children much better, and know how to express feelings and bring them together. In addition to this, bringing the siblings along during the session should also help them understand each other and settle their differences. This is one of the most important of all the 7 family counseling benefits.
3. Build self-esteem:
We all need healthy self-esteem to be able to cope with major life challenges and be able to cope well in the community. Most of the people who grow, or live, without self-esteem are vulnerable to peer pressure, interpersonal problems and health problems. If the parents lack motivation and self-esteem, there is a higher likelihood that their children will suffer from the same. A family therapist should be able to restore this and enable both the parents and children to know and understand each other thus feelings better about themselves and their value in the community. In this way, the unit will live a more positive life hence increase their chances of succeeding in life.
4. Make your family happier:
With the wake of smart devices and entertainment systems, most people turn to their gadgets, televisions and smartphones, when stressed or facing a problem. This is more like running away from, or hiding from your problems which only makes other members of the family concerned and maybe stressed. Nonetheless, understanding how to cope with certain problems, and facing them head on without turning a blind eye to the other family members prevents a chronically unhappy family.
5. When dealing with a divorce:
Divorce is one of the biggest nightmares for most family units and those involved. Although some people may have valid reasons to divorce (such as infidelity), others choose to divorce simply because they don’t understand one another anymore and have disconnected for too long. This could be due to a financial stressors, a buildup of problems and ultimately a reluctance to understand the other.
Nonetheless, seeing family or a marriage counselor can save your family. The counselor will be able to identify possible reasons why there are misunderstandings and conflicts in the family, and help you resolve and heal them. This can save your family unit and often make it stronger. Nonetheless, if one member wants to go on with the divorce, the counselor prepares all the members involved into accepting the circumstances and be able to adjust in a healthy way.
6. Mental and physical health:
Being relaxed and at peace is important for mental and physical health. Peace, however, comes when everyone understands each other, and are willing to work as a team. As long as there is someone to listen to your woes and help you whenever possible, then all family members will enjoy more harmony. Most people however need to understand their spouses and children with some helpful facilitation; with the help of a family and a marriage counselor, your family will be helped to identify certain problems and know how to handle them in a constructive adult way.
7. Premarital counseling helps build a successful family and marriage:
Most children pick up messages and beliefs based on what they see on the television, their friends, and even what they see with their children. Family therapists and marriage counselors relate this to the many family breakups and divorce being seen in this era. Nonetheless, families that had or have sessions with professional counselors before problems become too severe are able to address and improve and reconnect together.
As mentioned earlier, every family deals with various problems, some of which turn out messy if none of the family members knows how to handle them. With proper training and experience on how to deal with family problems, you will be able to deal with certain problems without causing any ongoing distress in the family. In this way, your family unit will be able to develop new and helpful ways of being and relating to each other.
Everyone can benefit from relationship and family counseling – see it as relationship and life enhancement rather than problem fixing!