Family Counseling provides an opportunity for family members to discuss their concerns in a setting where they can honestly express their thoughts and feelings. Individuals are encouraged to work together to accomplish goals for the good of the family.
Family members may display some of the attitudes and/or communication patterns which make cooperation difficult, and the counselor will point out the patterns which may keep the family from reaching their potential. Family members are encouraged to look at their roles in the family’s functioning and to respond differently. The shift in one’s perspective and/or behavior may prompt further changes which enables their family members to change, with the entire family functioning more effectively over time.
The initial focus of family therapy is to identify the events or patterns that contribute to the conflicts or distance the family is experiencing. Next, the emphasis is on helping the family more constructively address concerns and develop skills to establish new, more satisfying patterns in their family life. This may involve learning new communication patterns, how to navigate conflict more constructively, how to make peace with past hurts, and acquiring tools to develop a stronger foundation for friendship and intimacy.
The final stage of family counseling involves helping families develop a plan to maintain their new direction and effectively manage future conflicts and stresses.