Are you feeling nervous about your first family counseling session? If so, you are not alone. Uncertainty over what to expect before starting your therapy is normal. Hence, it is vital to know what you are likely to experience. 

Counseling should not interfere with your life. Rather, it should fit into it. Having a non-judgmental, confidential, and safe space to talk about issues is vital. 


Family Counseling

The purpose of family counseling, also known as family therapy, is to address issues. These include emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues that cause problems within a family. Here, a therapist works with family members to develop and maintain healthy relationships. Essentially, family counseling aims to develop and maintain functional and healthy family relationships.


Family Systems

Family counseling approaches stem from the theory of family systems. According to this theory, changes in one family member can lead to changes in other members. 


Benefits of Family Therapy

The benefits of this form of therapy vary from one family to another. Some of the benefits include:

  • Addressing dysfunctional or unhealthy interactions.
  • Developing healthy boundaries.
  • Addressing problem-solving skills.
  • Improved communication.
  • Providing coping tools and strength for family members.
  • Improving relationships and family dynamics.
  • Defining the role of each family member.

Furthermore, research suggests that family counseling effectively addresses several issues with kids. These include depression, conduct disorders, offending behavior, and substance addiction. It can also help those with mental health issues. 


What to Expect

Usually, family therapy brings members of the family together for therapy sessions. However, you can also see a family therapist individually. You can expect the counseling session to take about one hour. This form of therapy is often short-term. However, the number of sessions needed often depends on the therapist’s recommendation and your family’s situation. 

During therapy, you can explore family roles, behavior patterns, and rules. These help identify any issues that may be contributing to conflict. Your therapist will help you find ways to address and work out those issues. 

You can also examine your family’s ability to express emotions productively and solve problems. Family therapy can also help you identify your family’s strengths and weaknesses. 


Is Family Counseling Effective?

Evidence shows that this type of therapy is quite effective. Family-based approaches such as family therapy and parent training are effective. They help resolve: 

  • Disordered eating. 
  • Sleep problems in infancy.
  • Behavioral conditions.
  • Recovery from child neglect or abuse.

Furthermore, family counseling is effective for adolescents with mental health issues. Parents can also learn more effective parenting methods. However, this form of therapy will not automatically make an unpleasant situation go away or solve your family’s conflicts. 

Instead, it will help you and other members of your family understand each other better. It will also provide the skills you need to cope with challenging situations more healthily and effectively. Family counseling may also help your family achieve a stronger sense of togetherness. 

For more on family counseling, visit Comprehensive Counseling Services, LLC. You can call (850) 688-2244 today to schedule an appointment.

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