“You don’t choose your family”. It’s a clichéd old saying by this point, but it’s nevertheless an interesting one, since it seems to contain two separate sentiments. The quote is saying that you are inextricably linked to your family, but depending on how you read that, it can either be a good thing… or a difficult thing. Having what is essentially a small, close-knit community to support and improve one another should be a wonderful thing, but families are often susceptible to the same problems present in any human network: miscommunication, resentment, conflict and mistrust.
Keeping those struggles and issues internal is not often the healthiest way to deal with them, and that’s where family counselling can help. The benefits of family counselling services are numerous and can differ depending on the family.
Promoting Better Communication
Sometimes the issue can be less about what the problem is than how it’s communicated, or if it’s being communicated at all. Family counselling encourages family members to express their feelings together in a safe, healthy fashion. Communication is the linchpin of a happy family, and having a counsellor around to help facilitate discussion can be a great benefit.
Understanding Family Dynamics
Now, it’s a bit unfair to call any family “unhappy”, but what the quote does such a marvellous job illustrating is how problems arise uniquely within a family, and how those problems can come to define the family unit. Family dynamics, simply put, are the patterns of interactions between family members, and the impact they have on how members behave with one another. The more a family understands its problems and its patterns of interactions, the better equipped it will be to create healthier dynamics.
Working On Problem Solving Skills
Problems are in seemingly endless supply. One child thinks that another child gets preferential treatment. A daughter believes she isn’t being given enough responsibility or freedom. A father believes he is taking on too much responsibility. Too often, other family members respond to these complaints reactively, rather than proactively, which doesn’t solve much. Visiting a family counsellor can help your family work on the way it approaches and deals with problems.
Processing Difficult Or Life-Changing Events
There are certain events that arise that can really shake a family up. Events so emotionally charged and monumental can be difficult to discuss. This could mean the passing of a family member; it could mean a divorce or separation; it could mean the illness of a family member. In these trying times, having a family counsellor in the room to help process things can be very beneficial.
Along with better communication and healthier dynamics, a sense of mutual trust is important to a family. Always mixed in with trust is a certain amount of uncertainty, and so trust requires vulnerability as well as commitment. The absence of trust can create cycles of conflict within a family that are difficult to break free from, which is why it’s important to always try and strengthen a sense of mutual confidence.
A family is a wonderful thing, even if you don’t get to choose it. It can be a supportive, loving, trusting environment adept at dealing with problems both internal and external. To work on having the best family you can possibly have, try visiting a family counsellor.