Has constant tension in your family led to daily verbal fights? Do you wake up in the morning dreading the day’s activities because you believe a family altercation is inevitable? Perhaps family tension is triggered by your child’s eating disorder, self-harm or destructive behavior. Or maybe friction between siblings sparks ongoing arguments. Do you worry about your children’s safety? Do you question your parenting skills? Is it a struggle to make a positive change to improve your relationship with your children? Do you wish you could understand your child or children better?
Watching your family suffer through a difficult time can be disheartening and frightening at times. You probably just want your children to know how much you love them, make sure they are safe, and take all of the negativity away. But, sometimes that can be tough to do. Conflict may arise early in the morning as getting one child to school can result in him or her storming off. Even though you try to be patient in times like these, you child or children may push you away even more. While your child is at school, he or she might be confused, wondering, “Why doesn’t my parent understand?” Meanwhile, you may be engulfed in feelings of guilt, despair, frustration or inadequacy. On days when interactions with your child do not erupt in a fight, everyone is most likely tiptoeing around hot-button issues.
Family Troubles Are More Common Now Than Ever
Family conflict has become increasingly prevalent. With a growing number of children who suffer from an eating disorder or self-harming behaviors, peace within many families has deteriorated. It is important to remember that if your child exhibits dangerous behaviors, it is difficult for him or her to break free from destructive habits. Eating disorders and self-mutilation are addictions that can be triggered by depression, anxiety or lack of self-worth – and often result from society’s focus on external perfection.
If your child does not suffer from an eating disorder or self-mutilation, other destructive behavioral issues are also often caused by depression and anxiety. In this case, your family may still undergo the consequences of a hostile household.
Whether or not your family’s conflict is triggered by your child’s threatening behavior or if other issues are at play, getting support through family counseling can help strengthen your family bond and ensure that all of the members of your family feel safe, supported and respected.
Family Counseling Can Boost Household Happiness
In a safe and compassionate environment, I will work collaboratively with you and your family to identify the source(s) of conflict within your home. We will set short and long-term goals based on where each member of your family believes they are and would like to be. If your child is struggling with a life-threatening behavior, we will begin a treatment plan by offering alternatives to their unhealthy coping mechanism. In my practice, I have found that having children journal their emotions and finding a creative voice allows them to separate themselves from their disorder and build inner strength. In addition, I can provide external resources, such as support groups, that your child can use on his or her road to recovery.
In all cases, we will assess your type of parenting and discuss parenting strategies, as well as what behaviors your child exhibits. Furthermore, through asking both you and your children what outcomes you want and following through with these goals, we can begin to mitigate tension within your family.
During our sessions, we can also use narrative therapy to help your family become self-aware and address specific problems, while highlighting the positive aspects of your family’s “story.” After a few sessions, we will re-evaluate your goals, discuss positive outcomes and reassess strategies if needed.
Family counseling can help you and your family engage in healthy communication and offer you support, strategy and peace-of-mind. You are not alone in your struggle to achieve happiness within your home. Since 2001, I have helped countless families through similar issues. You, too, can work through conflicts and find relief. You and your family are the authors of your lives, writing the novel of your family’s future success.
I believe my family could benefit from family counseling, but I still have questions and concerns about therapy…
Do we really need family counseling? Shouldn’t we be able to work through these issues ourselves?
In many cases, unresolved family conflicts continually escalate throughout months or years. If you have attempted to resolve these issues on your own with little success, it is crucial to consider family counseling in order to achieve balance, relief and long-term success.
Our problems are not serious enough to seek professional help.
While you may view your family’s issues as minor, poor communication and unhealthy routines can quickly escalate to larger problems. The earlier you start therapy, the better your family’s chances are to avoid more suffering. A halfhearted attempt at addressing problem often results in a relapse in unhealthy habits. In more extreme cases in which your child suffers from an eating disorder or self-mutilation, bypassing therapy can be even more dangerous and potentially life-threatening.
Therapy is expensive, and I don’t know if it will be worth it.
Ensuring your family’s stability does come at a cost, both in time and money. However, in the long run, seeking help today may help you avoid future costs, in money and emotional well-being. Hopefully, you will never need to experience trauma through your child’s destructive behavior. However, underestimating the urgency of your child’s state may lead to in-patient hospitalization, which, in the vast majority of cases, is much more expensive and more emotionally taxing than family counseling.
Your Family Can Find Peace
I invite you to call me at (469)213-6400 for a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your family’s issues and answer questions you have about family counseling and my practice.