When to see a therapist as a family and what to expect
Many adults in challenging family situations still hesitate to seek help from a psychologist or therapist. It may be because they fear it might indicate their failure or inadequacies. However, seeing a therapist is not an expression of failure but of courage and a desire to improve family life. Family counselling is a valuable tool for supporting and enhancing the mental health of all family members.
Suppose recurring conflicts in your family seem unresolvable, and relationships between members are strained. In that case, this is the most common signal that it is time to seek help from a professional. If communication between family members is deteriorating or even nearly becoming impossible, and mutual understanding is out of reach, it is, unfortunately, time to act while there is still something to save.
A dangerous psychological situation for families is primarily long-term stress or changes that significantly impact all family members. This can include the loss of a close family member, divorce, child birth, a move to another city or even to a different country, financial problems or long-term health issues. Not only these situations can significantly affect family dynamics and require the support of a professional.
Destructive behaviours such as gambling or alcohol addictions can be the worst-case scenario. Ignoring these problems can have severe consequences and lead to family breakdown. You can get to the point of not being able to resolve conflicts on your own, and the accumulated emotional strain will cause irreparable damage.
Family therapy can provide a space for open and safe communication, help individual members understand their needs and emotions, and suggest practical strategies to resolve problems. Sessions are led by a specialized psychologist capable of supporting the family in finding healthy ways to interact with each other and strengthen the bonds between family members. Overall, this can boost the mental health of all involved.
Various therapeutic techniques and methods may be used during family therapy. In addition, the psychotherapist may work with individual family members and the family as a unit. The ultimate goal of the therapy is to improve understanding, strengthen relationships, develop practical communication skills, and find common solutions to family problems.
If you feel your family is going through a difficult time, don't hesitate, and most importantly, don't be afraid to reach out to professionals. Your loved ones are certainly worth it.