Everything seems right when a family is happy and healthy together. Stable and health family relationships are one of the greatest joys people experience during their lifetimes. But the truth is that everything may not be rosy even if they seem so. Even the best families go through rough patches once in a while. Whether it is a specific crisis, parents working too hard and failing to maintain a proper work-life balance, or the common stresses that modern lifestyles bring with them, families can have difficulty coping with one or more of them.
It is certainly a good thing that many families have systems which makes them endure challenges with ease. But even the best families may require help. So, is family counseling a way to look for help? Or is it a way of admitting defeat by resorting to outside help because of a failure to overcome one’s own problems? The truth is that deciding to go for family counseling is actually a positive step. Thinking otherwise beats the whole purpose of counseling. Whether it is to have an outside look into one’s problems or learning new and more effective ways to communicate with each other, family counseling can be a huge help to become better at relationships and enjoying life more with each other.
So what are the signs and symptoms to look out for? Here are the most common ones.
- Too many extreme emotional reactions: Are one or more of your family members exhibiting extreme emotional reactions? Whether it is depression, sadness, fear or anger, extreme emotional reactions are best dealt with the help of a family counselor who understands them better.
- Lack of communication: Sometimes, families can lessen communications with each other. But if this goes on for too long and if you or anyone else is getting a bit too much of the ‘silent treatment’, then it may be time to go for counseling to understand what the underlying problems and issues are.
- Violence issues: Do you feel that violence may be an issue in your family? It also may be so that there is a threat of violence which members feel but don’t want to talk about. Visiting a counselor may be of certain help in this regard.
- Too much stress: Sometimes, it may happen that there’s too much stress than members can handle. If there is a lot of hopelessness and helplessness going around and coping with all the stress is too much to handle, then the symptoms may point to the need for outside help.
- Children’s behavior: Children’s behavioral changes can point to bigger issues. If grades are dropping without any apparent reason or there have been reports of disruptive behavior at school, then a family counseling session can resolve the issues.
- Traumatic experience: Sometimes, a traumatic experience such as death in the family or a serious accident can cause problems. It is better to talk to a family counselor about it.
Family counseling will work best if the people involved will go in with open minds.