Family counseling is a type of psychotherapy that helps family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. It may include all family members or just those most able to participate. A family member who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction might not attend sessions, and might actually be the reason why other family members seek out family counseling.
Family counseling may not take a long time to complete. Often families benefit from four to five sessions. Sometimes families require more help and might need 20-30 sessions to resolve significant or ongoing family issues. The number of sessions required varies, depending on the severity of the problems and the willingness of the members to participate in therapy.
Benefits of family counseling
A family therapist:
- Teaches family members about how families function in general and, in particular, how their own functions.
- Teaches you skills to deepen family connections and get through stressful times, even after you’re done going to therapy sessions.
- Helps the family focus less on the member who has been identified as ill and focus more on the family as a whole.
- Assists in identifying conflicts and anxieties and helps the family develop strategies to resolve them.
- help you improve troubled relationships with your spouse, children, or other family members
- Strengthens all family members so they can work on their problems together.
- Teaches ways to handle conflicts and changes within the family differently. Sometimes the way family members handle problems makes them more likely to develop symptoms.
Family counseling can be useful in any family situation that causes stress, grief, anger or conflict. It can help you and your family members understand one another better and bring you closer together.