How to Know if Family Counseling is Right for You & Your Family

How to Know if Family Counseling is Right for You & Your Family

Family relationships are often some of the most rewarding and fulfilling relationships we have. However, even strong, well-functioning families encounter bumps along the road of life and need help sometimes through these rough patches.

Different stressors can challenge family relationships to the point that help is needed to work through some issues. Trying to strike a balance between work and family, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, behavioral and discipline issues, family members at different stages of growth and development, and the busyness of everyday life may require some help to work through as a family.

Recognizing and admitting that it is time to seek the help of a professional can be difficult. Some family members may feel that seeking counseling is admitting failure as a family. Another way to view this though is to see it as a way to strengthen the family by giving each member more tools to work with to draw closer together. Family counseling can help family members learn how to communicate better, listen to and understand each other better, and support and encourage one another in healthy ways. It can also help parents learn effective ways to discipline children.


How to Recognize That Your Family May Need Family Counseling

So how do you know if family counseling is right for you and your family? If any of the symptoms below describe you or other members of your family, it may be time to seek the help of a certified family and marriage therapist.

  • Family members are having difficulty functioning and performing their daily activities. Do family members feel drained and unable to function without significant effort? Does it feel like everything is overwhelming and too much to do?
  • The behavior of a child has changed significantly at home and/or at school. Is a child beginning to act different at home more than usual? Are their grades beginning to drop? Are you getting calls from the school about your child’s behavior and/or attendance?
  • Family members are struggling with substance abuse, other addictions, or an eating disorder. Is a family member abusing or using alcohol or drugs to cope? Does a family member have an unhealthy relationship with food or an obsession with their weight?
  • A family member is having extreme emotional reactions. This may be uncharacteristic for the person or perhaps it has been an ongoing issue that is getting worse. This may include intense anger, sadness, depression, fear or other strong emotions.
  • A family member is threatening to harm another family member or themself. Do you consider a family member’s behavior to be more than friendly roughhousing? Has a family member ever physically fought with or hurt anyone in the family? Have they made direct or indirect threats to other family members or discussed harming themself?
  • A family member is experiencing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness. Does the family situation feel like it’s just too much to cope with? Do you feel like you just don’t know what to do? Like you’ve run out of ideas to try make things better?
  • Family members are dealing with a recent traumatic event. Has there been a death of someone close to the family? A recent terminal diagnosis of a family member? An extramarital affair? A separation or divorce?
  • Communication has broken down between two or more members of the family. Do you feel things are strained at home? Is the tension palpable at home? Is a family member using “the silent treatment” with other family members?
  • A family member has withdrawn from the family unit. Have you or another family member “checked out” and isolated yourself or themself from the rest of the family?

Reaching out for family counseling can be extremely difficult. But when your family’s resources are no longer sufficient to help solve a problem, professional therapy can help all family members start working toward a solution that everyone agrees on. By doing so, this can strengthen your family and give you tools for solving problems together in the future.

Our therapists here at Sollars and Associates are here to support your emotional and mental health needs. If you are looking for in-person or online family counseling sessions, we have 17 locations across Michigan and we are here to help. You can contact us by filling out our online form or calling us at (248) 787-0855 . Please stay well, take care of one another, and practice kindness and self-care.

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