Amy is twelve years old. Amy’s mother remarried several months ago, giving Amy both a stepfather and a stepsister. Though during courtship the group got along well, living together full time altered the dynamic. Amy, accustomed to having her mother to herself much of the time, began to act out in order to get attention. Amy and her stepsister, previously content as weekend playmates, began bickering more than usual. And neither parent was sure exactly how to discipline their stepchild without crossing boundaries.
This family decided to go to family therapy. Though it did not result in a “perfect” family dynamic, it did result in a happier, more stable one. The children learned coping mechanisms for having another child around full time, and the adults were able to communicate with each other about their expectations in regard to the children’s discipline. All members of the family learned to communicate their needs more effectively.
What Is Family Therapy?
Family therapy is simply counseling for the whole family. Instead of a single family member experiencing a problem and seeking individual therapy, the family as a whole may be in distress, as in the example above. Or if one member is facing a problem, such as alcoholism, the entire family may seek counseling to learn how to best help that family member.
During family therapy, the participating members of the family come together with a counselor to discuss whatever difficulties they are facing. The therapist will help the family strengthen communication skills and identify barriers to good communication, including any underlying issues that have not been addressed (Mayo Clinic). Most of the time all of the family members will attend, though there may be instances in which only certain members come to a session.
Every family wants to be well-adjusted so they may enjoy the time they spend together and bank plenty of happy memories. While many families are close and loving, there comes a time in almost all relationships where things fall apart, at least to some degree. The reasons for this are as varied as the number of families.
Most of the time, unpleasant episodes pass by and life returns to normal. For others, life as they once knew it spirals downward, causing situations and relationships to deteriorate still further. When life becomes intolerable, someone in the family might reach out and seek help from a counselor in Chesterfield. They may pursue the services of a family counseling service or a qualified family therapist. Quite often other family members are reluctant to join in, though most tend to partake eventually. When this happens, the disquiet has the potential to recede and the family can again embrace life together.
Thriveworks Chesterfield family therapy has a simple goal: to help family members improve communication and resolve conflicts. If your family is struggling, or just needs a little help coping with a particular situation, give us a call. We’ve worked with quite a few families in distress. They got back on track and so can your family.
Who Needs Family Counseling?
The typical benchmark for determining when to seek counseling is true also in family counseling. If disruption is occurring regularly or is particularly traumatic, it is appropriate to seek professional help. Whether the impact is currently felt by the entire family or just a single member, family counseling can help.
For example, if one member of the family is alcoholic, the entire family may seek counseling to learn skills for helping the family member without enabling them. Or, a family member diagnosed with ADHD may result in the entire family attending counseling for a period of time. Family members may need help understanding the diagnosis and how it will impact their relationships, but they may also need help in learning how to support the family member. Or, as in the first example, perhaps a change in relationships, a new family member, or a major move have impacted the health of the entire family’s relationships.
Whether you are seeking Chesterfield family therapy to create a supportive and understanding environment while one family member addresses an issue, or you are getting therapy to help the entire family cope with a systemic issue, give Thriveworks Chesterfield family therapy a call. We offer supportive, judgment-free counseling from therapists who have substantial experience in working with all kinds of family dynamics. We know how important family life is to overall mental health and happiness, so give us the opportunity to help you deepen and strengthen those relationships.
What Issues Can Be Addressed in Chesterfield Family Counseling?
Life is fluid insomuch as it’s always changing and presenting us with new challenges. For the most part, we adapt to whatever life throws our way and move ahead with the times. Unfortunately, changes and challenges can sometimes be too much to handle. This is especially so when negative changes materialize in us or our loved ones. Challenges that can prove disruptive to family life can include some of the following:
- Academic underachievement
- Behavioral disorders in children ADD/ADHD
- Domestic abuse
- Emotional disturbance
- Family conflicts
- Peer relationships
Whether or not you see your family’s specific situation on the list above, if you sense your family would benefit from seeing a therapist, give us a call. We can help your family define the problems it is facing and develop the skills to move through them.
Counselors in Chesterfield
Perhaps you and your family are at a place where there’s more disharmony in the home than harmony. If so, our therapists may be able to help reset your lives so that you can move back toward the light. Give us a call today, explore your options, and see how we may be able to assist.
Mayo Clinic. “Family Therapy.” November 2014. Mayoclinic.org.