Counselors work to improve the mental health of their patients. Many counselors work with patients on a one-on-one basis, but other counselors specialize in providing group therapy. Group therapy that is designed to treat a family unit is known as family therapy or family counseling. These are four signs that your family can benefit from seeing a family counselor.
1. The family structure is undergoing a change.
It's not uncommon for families to change over time. Parents may divorce or get remarried, children grow up and leave the house, and new children are born. Each of these events can have a destabilizing effect on the family unit as a whole. People may develop feelings of sadness, anger, or resentment, or the family may drift apart. A family counselor can help you and your family members navigate changes in the structure of your family.
2. Family members struggle to communicate with each other.
Loving your family doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy to communicate with them. Sometimes, family members struggle to communicate with one another due to differences in opinion or temperament. If conversations with your family members frequently end in arguments, mediation may help. Family counselors can provide mediation services for families undergoing conflict. They can also teach communication skills to parents and children to facilitate better dialogue in the future.
3. A family member has become withdrawn or erratic.
Family counseling may also be indicated if one of your family members is experiencing emotional or behavioral problems. The first sign of mental illness is often a noticeable change in behavior. If a member of your family is suddenly sleeping all the time, overeating, or keeping to themselves, they may be struggling with depression. Erratic behavior can also be a sign of mental health issues. Family counseling can help the entire family come together to support a loved one with a mental health problem. People who are experiencing mental illnesses will likely need to seek individual therapy in addition to family counseling.
4. Family counseling is recommended by an individual counselor.
Family counseling may sometimes be recommended by a mental health care provider. Many people see individual therapists to treat their mental health issues. If many of your problems stem from interpersonal relationships with your family, addressing these problems directly can reduce your symptoms. Your regular therapist may suggest finding a counselor who specializes in family therapy if they believe that you would benefit from this solution.
For more information, contact a family counselor near you.