Family life can be joyful, fun, and meaningful – and it can also be hard. Sometimes our family members frustrate us like no one else could. Every relationship has its ups and downs! But what can you do when your family is struggling with a long season of “down” and needs support? One helpful option might be to find a family counselor.
What is family counseling?
Typically, multiple family members will come together to work on specific therapeutic goals. This is an opportunity for your family to solve problems and find renewal in these meaningful relationships. You may find that everyone identifies the same problem, or you may come in with very different priorities and perspectives. Your counselor will ensure that each person’s voice is heard and valued. Not every family member will need to attend every counseling session. You’ll work together to find solutions that work for your family.
Why come to counseling as a family if it’s just _______ person’s problem?
This is the greatest value of family counseling – the power of loved ones gathering together to work on a shared problem. We often find it easier to see someone else’s problem than to recognize our own part. And sometimes, one person is struggling in a unique way – perhaps with an addiction, medical condition, or recent event. But when our loved ones hurt, we hurt too.
Family counseling is an opportunity to support the people you love. The whole family can have an impact on any family member’s problem or struggle, even if that specific person doesn’t want the help! You influence the people around you – and those people are influencing you. Family counseling can restore relationships while also addressing any individual problems within the support network of the family.
Does my family need family counseling?
No matter how great our family is, life can get hectic and confusing. And families develop over time, going through natural seasons with their own joys and their own struggles. Some common struggles that could be goals in family counseling include:
- Handling a difficult life event, like the death of a loved one
- Working through conflict and restoring family relationships
- Managing parenting dilemmas or marital problems
- Blending a new family together
- Supporting a struggling family member
- Transitioning through seasons of life together
Whether your family is big or small, chaotic or calm, close or distant – your family is important, and can find renewal and restoration.
You may find the following resources helpful for your family:
- iHope provides family counseling in our Care and Counseling sessions, and also prays for and with families regularly
- Reading and praying through Ephesians 5:21 – 6:20
- This article on 5 steps to Christian living at home
- Praying through the Psalms as a family
- This article on “Family Worship” time – and a follow-up article on how to get started