When to seek family counseling
If you have an unsettled family argument or you need someone to mediate among family members, family counseling may be beneficial. Because family dynamics vary, each situation is different. Counseling can include couples therapy, parent and child therapy, individualized therapy or alternating therapy sessions between different family members.
Therapy is designed to help ease a variety of problems. It can aid in situations of child and adolescent behavior issues while guiding the parents with effective support and discipline toward an effective outcome. Problems at home can become problems at school, which can affect grades and peer interactions. Counseling between a child, parent, therapist and school psychologist may help bring issues to light and achieve a resolution. You can benefit from therapy if you feel that your voice is not being heard or you have a difficult time understanding the point of view or feelings of other members of your family.
If your family is faced with a divorce or separation, family counseling can address issues of uncertainty or change within the family unit. Together, you can work on a plan that will help keep lines of communication open.
Other issues that may benefit from counseling with the entire family include bereavement, illness, depression, domestic violence and substance abuse. Family therapy may also be a good evaluation point for recognition of underlying medical conditions that may be triggering problem behaviors within the family unit.
Sometimes the counselor will refer family members to a medical professional for further evaluation and treatment. In some situations, counseling may be court ordered for a custody or divorce case. In these cases, participation is often mandatory and may be monitored by a social worker or referee who will also ask questions and take notes pertaining to a current or upcoming court case.