Dealing with family issues can be an exhausting ordeal. Many factors are under consideration in the process. Emotions, experiences, outlooks, and individual conditions all play a role. Couple these factors with the fact that all the family members need to be taken into account.
All these make family issues more challenging to deal with. There are instances where a family needs professional help. That is when family counseling in Ottawa is an effective solution.
What Happens in Family Counseling?
Family counseling is a form of therapy that targets parents, children, married couples, or extended family. Its primary goal is to help families identify problem areas and healthily solve these issues. Family therapy facilitated by an experienced counselor can help bring families together. It can even strengthen the bond between parents and children.
Family counseling may at first seem very overwhelming for the patients involved. However, there is a flow that many counselors follow. The steps involved are usually the following:
- Gain understanding: The counselor will first attempt to gain an understanding of the situation at hand. They will also try to gauge and get an estimate of the personalities and experiences of the individual family members. The counselor will also attempt to identify each member’s weaknesses and strengths. They achieve this through sessions that involve detailed discussions and conversations.
- Identify problems: After understanding the family situation, the counselor will then attempt to identify the factors that cause problems.
- Look for solutions: The counselor will then attempt to help the family reach methods that can help deal with the issues. This part usually involves setting goals that the individuals can attain or the family can reach together.
The general flow of family counseling involves multiple sessions of therapy depending on issues that the family faces. It also includes different methods used in counseling, and these methods depend on the counselor’s experience.
What methods are involved in family counseling?
There are different methods that a counselor can utilize to achieve the goals of family therapy. Psychotherapy is the primary method used. It uses words and conversations in addressing emotional issues and mental disorders.
Many other methods are integrated with psychotherapy to address family issues. Some of these methods are the following:
- Relationship and couples therapy: Family counseling can also focus more on the married couple itself. It primarily uses methods utilized in relationship and couples therapy.
- Education: Several methods for educating patients are also involved. These can include relationship education and family education.
- Genogram: This method consists of constructing a family tree and identifying the impact of these relationships on a person.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, is a method used in family counseling. It involves addressing different issues that families may have. This method focuses on modifying behavior.
- Coaching and other forms of therapy: This form of family therapy will depend entirely on the counselor. Many different forms of therapy may be used. Some of these include life coaching, behavioral therapy, and many others.
Family counseling is a very flexible tool that works in addressing and solving a variety of family-related issues. That is, of course, partly because of the methods involved and how to potentially address the problems.
What Issues can Family Counseling Address?
Family counseling is a flexible way of dealing with many family issues. Some of the problems that this form of therapy is used to address are the following:
- Illness, loss, grief, and other events: Events that bring about negative emotions are often the target of family therapy.
- Substance use, abuse, and addiction: Substance addiction in a family member can impact the other members in a significant way. Family therapy helps other family members cope.
- Conflicts: Conflicts within the family can be dealt with in a healthy way through family therapy.
- Professional or academic problems: Family problems can significantly impact a person’s professional or academic life.
- Infidelity and divorce: Among married couples, infidelity and divorce can affect the entire family. Family therapy can help everyone, especially the children, cope in a healthily.
- Others: Family counseling can address other issues like custody of children, personal problems, mental illness, and the like.
Note that a counselor will not solve a family’s problems for them. Instead, the counselor will help the family identify problems and solutions. Proper guidance can help the family arrive at answers that can help them deal with problems. Perhaps the most important is that proper counseling can bring families even closer to each other.
Ways family counseling can bring parents and children together
All families become exposed to negative events at some point in everyone’s lives. These events usually impact the family’s children the most. Family counseling is a way of addressing these events and can even bring the family closer together. Some of the ways family counseling can bring parents and children closer are the following:
- It can open lines of communication between parents and children
Not all families are comfortable talking to each other on a deep, personal level. It is often the root of many issues since a lack of proper communication can cause misunderstandings. It is especially notable in adolescents that refuse to talk to parents, although there are many other instances of this.
Family therapy can help parents and children become more open with each other. It can open lines of communication between family members. It can also help both sides become more comfortable in discussing issues to address.
- It can help families address issues together
Many issues are best addressed as a family. It is one of the goals of family counseling. Addressing issues as a family can help ease the strain and burden on one member alone. Another advantage of this is that it gives the family a shared experience. It can help them solve other problems that may come their way in the future.
- Family counseling can help family members develop empathy
The methods involved in family therapy can help members build empathy. They can become more aware of how the other members of the family feel. It also helps the members become more open with showing emotions. This openness comes with the knowledge that the family will do their utmost to support the others.
- Family counseling can reinforce the values of trust and honesty
Honesty and trust are both important in any relationship. Such is especially true for married couples. Family counseling can help married couples deal with trust and honesty issues that they may have. Any trust and honesty problems can trickle down to the children. Counseling is an effective way of addressing the negative impact of these problems in children. It can also help the members deal with these issues in the future.
- It allows families to handle stress the healthy way
Stress is a normal occurrence for any family. Many people, however, choose to deal with stress in an unhealthy way. It’s problematic for any family, more so for ones with young children that can imitate the unhealthy acts. Family counseling can help family members find healthy ways of addressing stress. It’s an essential way of helping the family develop because these methods can work future stressors.
- It can help families develop helpful skills together
Family counseling can help individual family members develop skills that can lead to their betterment. It also equips the family with skills that can improve their relationship in the long run. Some of these are the following:
- Resilience in the face of problems
- Coping with negative events
- Empathy, awareness, and understanding
- Proper communication skills
- Many others
All of these skills can help the family grow stronger as a whole and bring the members closer to each other.
- It promotes forgiveness, resolution, and positivity
Family counseling can bring parents and children closer through the encouragement of certain actions. More specifically, family counseling promotes forgiveness, resolution, and positivity. It helps family members gain a better understanding of others, and it also encourages positivity.
All these are possible through the guidance of a trained counselor. It should be noted, of course, that the family also has to be willing to bring about positive change. It takes effort from everyone involved in order to identify, address, and solve issues. Doing so will yield many benefits for the family, including stronger familial bonds.
Ottawa Family Counseling can Help Bring Your Family Closer to Each Other
Dealing with family issues is a challenge, to be sure. But fear not, help is available!
Family counseling can deal with a variety of problems that many families face. If you feel that your family needs to deal with issues or simply become closer, talk to Capital Choice Counselling in Ottawa.
Capital Choice has a team of professional counsellors who are highly experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to family counselling. We have been serving the Ottawa area since 2006, offering family counselling and other forms of therapy. Contact us online today or give us a call at 1-613-425-4257.