Family Issues That Therapists Address During Counseling

Asma Rehman, LPC

As you are considering family therapy for yourself and your loved ones to gain insight and help to improve your familial relationships, you may be concerned about whether family therapy may be a good fit. Many families wonder if their situations warrant for seeking professional help. You may be wondering whether your family dynamic may be affected when family problems are addressed with individuals outside of the family unit. Sometimes, shame, guilt, and embarrassment can keep you from considering the help of a family counselor. However, our family therapists can attest that no problems are too small, too significant, or too chaotic for help.

The goals of a family therapist are to encourage the development of trust, strengthen broken or disrupted relationships, and restructure lines of communications within the family. If there are misaligned responsibilities and misunderstandings that lead to distressed relationships, a family therapist is there to help everyone resolve their differences.

Read: How to Deal with a Toxic Family Member

As various family units have different dynamics, a family counselor will see a family as a group as well as individuals composed of different backgrounds and different personal experiences. These differences can contribute to or take away from the unity of the family; as such, a therapist’s first goal is to figure out the issues that influence the dysfunctions and challenges. Here are some examples of problems that our family therapists see on a daily basis; you may find that your family may relate to one or two of them.

Family members keeping secrets from each other

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When secrets are kept amongst family members, trust is displaced, and relationships may break down from there. Your family therapist will be introduced as a source to restore the balance and honesty of any relationships. Secrets break bonds amongst members of your family unit. Therefore it’s crucial to enlist professional assistance to bring rationality to helping everyone work on the issues together.

Sometimes, our therapists may see members of a family become dishonest with other family members with secret information or hidden agendas. They may be lying about their secrets due to low self-esteem or having created a habit of deceptions. For example, if there was a member of the family struggling with drug or alcohol addictions, they are more likely to keep it a secret from other family members for fear of judgment. In such cases, our experienced Houston therapists may utilize role-playing to modify behaviors in a family therapy setting so that change can be promoted.

Individuals in the family beginning to distrust one anotherfamily therapists Houston

Often times, due to a lack of proper communications, individuals within a family start to lose trust in each other. Trust is essential to any healthy familial relationships. When trust is breached, it is often harder to be reinstated because distrust leads to uncertainties and that type of work takes a lot of time and commitment. Other emotional issues may come into play such as jealousy, anxieties, depression, and suspicion, which causes more tension in the family unit.

As all families enter into counseling because there are problems that they cannot solve on their own, our family therapists of Houston start by making each member of the family aware of where the breakdown lies. When they realize that feelings of distrust or betrayal are the culprit of the rising tension, the therapist may introduce learning strategies that are sensible and practical to the specific family dynamic so that trust can be rebuilt again.

Read: How to Decide If Counseling Is Right for My Family

Some members of the family isolating themselves from the family unitemdr 2

Our family therapists often see families dealing with grief because of a loss or transition. Within these dysfunctions, some members of the family may isolate themselves in hopes of merely wishing their problems away. They may be experiencing a loss of a child, struggling with addictions, or coping with stressors that they think they can handle on their own. The individual family member may feel that their emotional connections with other members of the family are broken. Thus they seek solace in being by themselves.

Unfortunately, isolation of any members of a family unit can cause a toll on everyone else. In family therapy, a family is viewed as a complete unit; it is treated as so rather than treating just one individual that is problematic. A counselor will work to help each family member to cope with stressors and challenges as a team. They will focus on the family’s strengths to overcome their problems rather than trying to fix their weaknesses. This will allow each member to take responsibilities to change their behaviors and emotions to become a more stable unit.

Other members of the family forming alliances with one another against family members

Family therapists of Grief Recovery Center Houston will frequently see members of a family unit create partnerships with one another to pin against another member of the family. The power struggles are toxic to the unity of its members because there is a lack of love and support. The goal of counseling is to allow every person to recognize the harmful behaviors they have that impact the rest of the family. While alliances bonds one or two individual family members together, therapy will help improve the ways every member to resolve conflicts with the establishment of rules, boundaries, and expectations.

Many families have trouble relating to each other, especially in blended family situations. Therefore challenges arise where they have a hard time connecting with each other. A trained therapist focuses on teaching the family how a family should function as a whole, as well as individually, which can then improve lines of communications and understanding.

Some family members trying to take control of the entire situation

In instances where family members are conflicted about power and hierarchies, there may be struggles of control. Parents may have a hard time parenting and managing conflict while they cope, causing individual members of the family to want to take control of the situation on their own. It may be a loss of a family member, job changes, or new family transitions, but changes often cause tension within a family because there are expectations to be met.

A family therapist will help your family let go of any unrealistic standards and embrace the truth of your current situation. This way, members of the family can then begin to work letting go of the control they feel to be vital to accept the circumstances they are overcoming.

Is your family struggling with any of the above conflicts or something unique entirely? We’d love to help, you can contact us at the Grief Recovery Center for more info today.

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