Families can be tough places to live, particularly if they don’t know how to get along. Parents are busier than ever with demanding jobs and tight budgets. Kids face an ever-expanding world of temptations and bad influences. If everyone loves each other, why is it so hard to be happy together?
Family counseling can be necessary when conflicts between siblings or between parents and siblings become disruptive to the family group. In this kind of counseling, the entire family comes for sessions together, talking about the problems in the home. All family members are encouraged to give their point of view on the difficulties and say what they feel needs to change.
While a family is not a democracy where the majority rules, parents must learn to listen to their kids’ concerns if they want to stay connected and have an influence in their children’s lives. Family counseling helps parents learn to listen. It helps kids learn the consequences of their choices and the importance of being responsible for their actions.
If children have disruptive behavior in the home or at school, this kind of family therapy may be of help. Counselors initially help with communication in the family. This involves both individual expression and learning to hear each other’s concerns and feelings. Then the family members work with the counselor to create different behaviors in the family to establish a different experience.
The problems can be as complex as dealing with an older child’s running away from home or as simple as helping to establish and accomplish a working system of getting chores done. Single parents may seek counseling for the family to help everyone adjust to a divorce or to help with blending if a remarriage has taken place.