Is Your Family Struggling To Communicate And Connect?
Are you struggling to understand and resolve issues within your immediate and/or extended family? Has grief, trauma, divorce, addiction, or ongoing conflicts created disconnection and disharmony within your family? Perhaps one of your children is struggling with emotional or behavioral problems, which are having a negative ripple effect on the whole family. Or maybe you and your partner are in turmoil or going through a divorce, and the tension, fighting, and disagreements are impacting everyone. At times, are you at a loss about how to handle your child’s or children’s behavior? Do you sometimes feel helpless and wonder what you are doing wrong and/or if your family is falling apart? Do you wish you had the tools to help your loved ones flourish as individuals and create connection, balance, and peace within your family system?
It can be a frustrating, stressful, and overwhelming experience to encounter ongoing conflicts, stressors, and disconnections within your family. You may want all members of your family to understand and value each other, but the seemingly never-ending arguments and tension may have you nearing your wit’s end. Maybe a specific family member’s issues are impacting everyone and causing feelings of resentment, anger, or guilt. You and your partner or co-parent may not be on the same page concerning how to raise your children or handle issues, which is further complicating an already challenging situation. Perhaps communication issues and tensions have arisen between two or more members of your family, leading to cold shoulders, explosive arguments, or a fraught dance between both. Perhaps you’ve sought advice from friends, family members, or parenting books, but nothing seems to help. Regardless of how strife is showing up, you may be desperate to restore peace and harmony to your family.
All Families Struggle At Times
If your family is going through a difficult time, you are not alone. It is completely normal—expected really—to experience times of tension, disconnection, and challenge. The media portrayals of many families are simply unrealistic, although it’s not unusual for parents to hold high expectations and feel like they’re doing something wrong when life throws a curve ball, disagreements surface, and things inevitably start to fall apart.
Within a family system, everyone has distinct personalities and ways of doing things. We base how we interact with others on our own perceptions and set of experiences. Sometimes that gels, and at other times, things can feel complicated and challenging. Unhealthy patterns of interaction form, and family members often don’t know how else to relate to one another. Losses, transitions, addictions, and traumas can further complicate family dynamics, especially when tension, stress, and feelings of grief are high.
While all families bump up against challenges, and many, if not most, could benefit from family counseling, there are times when seeking the help of an objective, skilled third party is necessary to restore balance and harmony to your family. The good news is that there is help and hope for healing and connection within your family. An experienced and compassionate family therapist can help you navigate challenges, improve communication between family members, and start working as a team.
Family Therapy Can Provide You With Support, Guidance, Skills, And Relief
Family counseling sessions tend to begin with the parent(s). In safe, confidential, and guided family counseling sessions, I can help you and your co-parent assess your own values and desires for your family. We can work in collaboration to develop a united vision, goals, and a plan. In addition to supporting your children, the plan we create together can also help you develop effective parenting skills and adjust your parenting style to best support the developmental, emotional, and behavioral needs of your children.
Throughout the family therapy process, all members of your family can learn new and better ways to relate, listen to, and understand each other. Through sharing feelings and experiences, your family can foster feelings of empathy, respect, and closeness. As your guide, I can point out dynamics and patterns as they arise in sessions, reflecting what I notice and providing feedback about how certain words and behaviors impact the whole family. As family members begin to develop a greater self-awareness about how they are showing up in their relationships with one another, they can begin practicing new, healthier ways of relating. Everyone can learn more effective, nonreactive, ways to communicate, which can promote closeness and security.
You and/or your partner or co-parent can also learn effective ways to handle misbehavior and help your children make good decisions. You can develop positive ways to connect with your family, as well as the skills needed to best help your children manage stress and challenging emotions. With a little support and guidance, you can devise strategies that best support your whole family.
I know both personally and professionally how effective family counseling can be. After attending parenting classes years ago, I put what I learned into practice and saw a positive shift in the dynamic of my whole family. And, through facilitating parenting classes and working with families, I have seen countless other families do the same. With help, guidance, and a willingness to engage in the process, the members of your family can learn how to break ineffective cycles and respond differently rather than react to each other. You can understand one another, build on personal and collective strengths, and start working together as a team. It is possible to develop closer emotional bonds, experience more ease and flow, and enjoy more satisfaction and fulfillment together.
You still may have questions or concerns about family counseling…
Some of our family members may not want to attend family therapy sessions.
While it’s preferable that all family members attend counseling, those who opt out will still be there in spirit. Those who do attend can start relating differently, and there can be a ripple effect on the whole family, including those members not in attendance. Change can start with one person who leads by example.
There is just one person in the family who needs help, but family counseling has been suggested. Why do we all need to attend?
It truly takes a village to raise a child, and when one person in a family is struggling, it impacts everyone else. Families take teamwork, especially when working toward a common goal. And, it’s important that this one person feels supported as he or she is going through a challenging time. By getting everyone together, we can consider everyone’s needs and foster improved communication and connection.
We all have varying schedules, and I’ve heard that family counseling can take a lot of time.
We will make it work. We can schedule ongoing meetings, and whoever is available can join. I’m also flexible with session times and can meet on Saturday or early morning. Also, the goal is not to have your family in counseling forever. As things improve and you learn skills that you can apply at home, we can meet less and less often.
You Can Strengthen And Nurture Your Family
You can create a nourishing, fulfilling family environment. I invite you to call my office for a 15-minute phone consultation. I’m happy to discuss your family’s specific needs and to answer questions you have about family counseling and my practice.