Family counselling: What is it?March 18, 2021
For us, Psychologists and Psychiatrists, it is no secret that many mental problems and disorders are closely related to the family environment. This is the main reason that family counselling emerged. But what is it?
What is family counselling?
The family counselling could be a type of psychological treatment designed to deal with specific problems that affect the health and functioning of a family. It may be accustomed help a family through a difficult time, a significant transition, or mental or behavioral health issues in members of the family.
The way the family operates influences how the patient’s problems were formed and how other members of his family encourage or facilitate them.
The family counselling began in the United States during the decade of the 50s of the last century. Different professionals from psychiatry and psychology confirmed the good results that could be obtained by working with the families of affected patients.
But it was not until the 80s when family counselling arrived in Australia with the premise of: treating a patient in isolation, without taking into account their family environment, is often unsuccessful.
Who is family counselling for?
The goals of family counselling depend on the problems that the patients present. For example, the goals may differ based on the following scenarios:
- A family member suffers from schizophrenia or severe psychosis: the goal is to help other family members understand the disorder and adapt to the psychological changes that the patient may be experiencing.
- Issues arising from intergenerational boundaries, such as when parents share a home with grandparents or when grandparents raise children: the goal is to improve communication and help family members establish healthy boundaries;
- The patient’s problems appear to be inextricably linked to problems with other family members: in cases where the problem or problems are deeply rooted in problems with other family members, the goal is to address each of the contributing problems and resolve or mitigate the effects of this pattern of problems;
- A mixed family (that is, an adoptive family): Mixed families can experience problems unique to their situation. In mixed families, the goal of family counselling is to reinforce understanding and facilitate healthy interactions between members of the family.
It should be noted that the term family in family counselling doesn’t necessarily mean blood related. In this context, “family” is anyone who “plays a long-term supportive role in life, which cannot mean blood relatives or members of the family within an identical household.
What is done in family counselling?
The family counselling may employ techniques and exercises cognitive counselling, behavioral counselling, interpersonal counselling or other types of individual counselling. As with other types of treatment, the techniques used will depend on the specific problems that the person or persons present.
The behavioral problems or emotional in children are often one of the reasons why we visit our patients. A child’s problems do not exist in a vacuum; they exist, and probably need to be addressed, in the context of the family.
With family counselling you get:
- A good understanding of a healthy boundary and family patterns and dynamics
- Improve communication
- Problem resolution
- Deeper empathy
- Conflict reduction and better anger management skills
More specifically, family counselling can improve family relationships in the following ways:
- Reuniting the family after a crisis
- Promoting honesty among family members
- Instill confidence in family members
- Develop a supportive family environment
- Reduce the sources of tension and stress inside the family
- Help family members forgive each other
- Conflict resolution for family members
- Recovery of relatives who have been isolated
The family counselling improves the skills needed for healthy family functioning, including communication, conflict resolution and problem solving. Improving this skill also increases its potential for success in overcoming family problems.
When to resort to family counselling?
In summary, it is necessary to resort to family counselling when you have the feeling of being in a vicious circle from which you cannot get out. If this situation arises, it is best to request the help of a professional … and if it is in the company of the family, the better.
Do not give up! At Connect Ability in Australia, specialists in family counselling, we help you solve conflicts in the family environment.
Also, for more comfort you can choose online family counselling, as effective as face-to-face.
We help you solve conflicts with your children wherever you are, adapting to your schedule. Book a session with our online psychologists and start building a healthy relationship with your family.
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