Are Negative Relationship Dynamics Getting The Best Of Your Family?
- Is your family having issues communicating or finding common ground?
- Have you struggled to understand or respond to the behaviors of one or more of your children?
- Are you looking for clarity as someone in your family members experiences a mental health challenge, including substance abuse?
You may feel as though your children are no longer complying with the basic ground rules you have set for your family. Despite reprimands, they may continue to be defiant or disobedient, causing you to wonder what is making them act out.
It may be that you’re having trouble relating to your children or other family members because you’ve observed them becoming increasingly unresponsive to your wishes or commands. Perhaps you’re wondering how you could appeal to your children in a way that will make their behavior more cooperative.
Maybe one or more of your immediate family members has been diagnosed with a developmental disability or mental health issue, and you’re hoping to get the family on the same page about shared goals and interventions that your family can rally around to bring about positive change.
Alternatively, you could be an adult child within a family that is struggling to understand one another. Perhaps you and your parents or siblings could benefit from a family therapy session during which you process past conflicts and experiences in a neutral space.
Regardless of age, it’s important that all of us have effective communication skills and the ability to build emotional resilience. Therapy at Milestones Counseling gives you an opportunity to come together, learn to communicate, and find solutions to your family’s most pressing challenges.
It’s Natural For Conflict To Arise Between Family Members From Time To Time
All families come from different circumstances and are made up of varying personalities and dynamics—every family experiences setbacks in communication. However, if conflict is ongoing and creates damage within the relationships, it may be time to consider the guidance and perspective of a professional.
There are a number of reasons why the entire family unit might benefit from counseling. There could be parental concerns about risky or unsafe behaviors, unwise social choices, or slipping academic performance in school. And if certain negative communication patterns have been reinforced, a child may not feel comfortable approaching their parent with certain worries or disclosing information that might help the parent to better understand their misbehaviors.
On the other hand, a parent’s mental health struggles may inadvertently affect the development of their child. For example, a parent may struggle with anxiety or depression that have created challenges in the relationship. Or if a parent grapples with alcoholism or substance abuse, it’s very likely that their child feels hurt, confused, or frustrated as a result of their parent’s addiction-related behaviors. Instead of approaching the parent, however, the child may withdraw or lash out in defiance.
Each of us has a role within our family, and that role—for better or worse—contributes to the overall dynamic of the family. But, instead of opening ourselves up to the values, traits, and memories that we share, we often focus on where our differences are, ultimately closing ourselves off to empathetic listening and productive communication.
Yet, in the neutral space of therapy your family can explore shared experiences as you build empathy for one another as individuals.
Family Therapy Can Heal Relationships And Create Harmony At Home
It’s possible that if you’ve tried to navigate conflict within your family in the past, things escalated quickly, or your efforts proved to be ineffective. After all, your home is a space that is incredibly personal and charged with various emotions and memories. In therapy, however, your family is invited into a safe space where each of you will likely be more receptive to feedback from an objective, third-party professional.
Not only will your family be given a valuable opportunity to better understand the dynamic and hash out concerns, but a therapist can also empower you and give your family the tools needed to discuss difficult topics. To that end, therapy can be extremely helpful in creating a healing space that is separate from your private residence, specifically used for processing emotions and having difficult conversations.
After completing an intake to help us understand the primary concerns that have brought your family to therapy, your Milestones clinician will collaborate with you to establish a treatment plan and goals for counseling. If necessary, we may recommend that one or more members of your family schedule an individual counseling session to reinforce the work and skills-building done in family sessions.
Throughout therapy, we can address and dissect certain behaviors in order to locate the core issue driving them. Our clinicians typically employ strength-based therapies that can identify inherent abilities and assets within individual family members to encourage more cohesiveness among the whole. In addition, we use systems therapies to examine the attachment styles and learned belief systems that may be contributing to discord within your family unit.
Using the information gathered from ongoing sessions, you will be better suited to understand how interpersonal dynamics are coming into play and better prepared to navigate the conflict that is causing problems at home. Over time, each individual within your family can develop the strong communication skills and emotional awareness needed to be assertive without causing strife or damage.
It is our hope that with family therapy at Milestones Counseling, each connection within your family unit is strengthened and healed as you gain a deeper understanding of and empathy for one another.
Perhaps you’re ready to seek the help of a family therapist, but you have questions…
I feel as though my child’s behavioral issues warrant individual therapy—not family therapy. Why do I need to be involved?
There is a reason why your child is misbehaving or struggling emotionally, and therapy is an opportunity to get to the core of that issue. Though you may think your child’s behavioral issues are independent of your influence, you’re likely to learn more about your relationship with your child and how you may be impacting your child’s development in counseling. Family therapy gives everyone in your family a chance to understand how certain dynamics, attachments, and negative patterns are being reinforced, paving the way for more harmony at home.
How is it determined if a child needs individual therapy or family therapy?
Our clinicians are expertly trained and have years of experience identifying the core issues that contribute to a child’s misbehavior or emotional distress. If we find that your child has a specific issue that needs to be targeted or a skill set that needs to be built, we may encourage them to work with us on an individual basis. However, if conflict and misbehavior are an ongoing issue overall, therapy can help strengthen and heal each relationship within your family.
How does insurance work when it comes to family therapy?
For insurance to be billed, we do need to submit a diagnosis and treatment plan for at least one individual in the family (to see a list of providers that we accept, please visit our Insurance page). If insurance is billed, family therapy is likely to center around the individual who is experiencing the most challenge or distress.
Together, Your Family Can Learn To Cultivate Mutual Respect And Healing
If your family struggles to communicate or treat one another with mutual respect and empathy, therapy at Milestones Counseling can help you get on the same page and develop harmony. For more information about how we can help or to schedule an appointment, please use our contact form or call (443) 574–4295.