What is Family Counseling?
Family Counseling is where the parents and kids come together to talk through ongoing problems in the household and how to have more fun and peace in the home. The counselor sits down with everyone at once and identifies how everyone may or may not be contributing to these goals.
What can Family Counseling help with:
Parents don't know what to do about a child's mental health issues.
Parents don't know how to help their child who is constantly getting into trouble.
Parents are concerned about the relationship with their child due to high conflict during teenage years.
Parents don't know how to help their child who is struggling with social interactions.
Parents are concerned about legal issues with a child.
Parents disagree about how to handle their child and their marriage is suffering.
Issues of Divorce
Older children/young adults whose parents have divorced
What is the counselor's approach to Family Counseling?
Family Counseling is fairly structured with 3 phases over 6-12 sessions.
Figure out what the behavior patterns are and identify them. During this phase, the counselor will interrupt predictable patterns of fighting so that the family can learn how to identify their fighting patterns on their own and not be blindsided by them. Research shows that if the counselor can interrupt a fight before it escalates, the outcomes are better and it lowers the chance of the fight escalating further.
Behavior change and in-session practice. During this phase the family will practice changing their behavior in the midst of a conflict in order to handle it in healthy way.
Now that the family has identified their conflict behavior patterns and been practicing healthy conflict management skills, the counselor will help the family work through where else these skills can be practiced and what else the family may need in order to maintain the changes that they've made.
What should I expect for the first session?
Before the first session, the clients will receive intake paperwork including: limits of confidentiality, informed consent to treat, personal disclosure statement, and the office policies. The counselor will then read through the intake so they have an understanding of what the clients wants to work on in advance to the session.
During the first session, the clients will receive the cancelation policy, limits of confidentiality, and mandatory reporting. The counselor will walk through these with the clients and answer any questions in addition to setting expectations for future sessions.