Never lose sight of the people who are the foundation of the future you are working to build.
– Carlos Wallace
IS FAMILY COUNSELING RIGHT FOR US? The family unit is the core institution and foundation of our society. When a family is healthy and happy, all can seem right in the world. However, the stresses of modern life, substance abuse issues, family crises, or mental health challenges can threaten ruin to a family unit. Under these circumstances, even the best families can feel helpless and in need of outside help. These are common signs that you and your loved ones should consider family counseling:
Breakdown in Communication Poor communication is a common and very difficult family issue. If family members do not believe they can effectively communicate their thoughts and feelings, they will not feel understood or validated; worse, they will not feel loved or respected, and the foundation needed for a successful relationship will crumble.
Withdrawal From Family Life Do one or more family members avoid interactions with the family that they used to participate in regularly? Do they seem withdrawn when they are around other family members? If so, the reasons for their withdrawal should be explored as they may reveal a deep-seeded issue that needs to be addressed.
Severe Mental Health or Substance Abuse Issues There is perhaps no more difficult family issue than one or more family members struggling with mental illness or addiction. Because of the closeness of the family unit, one family member’s struggles with these issues has a profound impact on the loved ones around them. These issues include the extent to which family members can continue to love and support that family member without enabling them to continue destructive behavior patterns. If you find yourself in this situation, professional assistance is almost always recommended.
Violence You should never have to fear violence from other family members. Violence is never acceptable and should be addressed immediately.
Changes in Children’s Behavior at Home or School A child’s declining performance in school or disruptive behavior at home are common sign of troublesome family dynamics. Unfortunately, children often take the brunt of family dysfunction and are unable to process or deal with the emotions they experience. In turn, they respond by acting out or withdrawing from activities they previously enjoyed and succeeded at.
Loss or Trauma Loss of a loved one and other family crises can take a heavy toll on the family unit. These events tend to reopen old wounds and expose family weaknesses. These issues require family members to be empathetic towards their loved ones, which is often difficult to provide when you are trying to cope with that same pain or loss. In these situations, a professional intermediary can go along way to heading off further complications that tend to arise.
DOES FAMILY COUNSELING WORK? The benefits of family counseling can be great. You can learn new ways to communicate, to work through problems, to discipline, and to relate to one another. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, “Research studies repeatedly demonstrate the effectiveness of marriage and family therapy in treating the full range of mental and emotional disorders and health problems.”
WHY SHOREPOINTE? At Shorepointe Counseling, we have nearly 40 years of combined experience in the mental health and social work professions working with families on issues ranging from complex family dynamics to loss and family crisis. In addition to first class responsiveness and flexible hours to accommodate the most demanding of clients, our direct but warm and assuring approach provides clients with all of the tools necessary to improve themselves and their relationships.