All families experience rough patches, but moms, dads, sisters, brothers, and even aunts and uncles usually are able to depend on each other to move forward.
But what if those rough patches last for months and no one seems to think there are brighter days ahead? Then it may be time for family members to seek professional help so that they can work through their problems.
Family therapy is different than individual therapy. Typically, a counselor will meet with everyone at once and try to discover what may be at the root of a family’s problems. But how do you know when it’s time for your family to get counseling?
Because every family is different, there is no perfect answer on what should trigger seeking professional help. But there are some warning signs you can look out for.
- Silence isn’t golden – If no one is talking when the family is together – say, at the dinner table – then something is wrong. Communicating is the key to resolving conflicts.
- Mood swings – When the mood of a family member often swings from upbeat to depressed, there may be a larger issue at play than someone’s mood changing. It could be a sign of frustration at school, a job, or even a relationship.
- Substance abuse – When one family member is abusing alcohol, drugs, or some other substance, it puts stress on the entire family. Diagnosing the problem early and getting treatment will be beneficial to all family members. (A recent blog talks about how to start a conversation about substance abuse.)
- Family trauma – Has there been a death in the family? Did mom and dad get divorced? Has an affair been discovered? Sometimes families are unable to cope with these issues and move past the tragedy.
- Misdirected anger – Sometimes one perceived problem has an entirely different cause. Parents may think their teenage child has anger issues, but it is the parents who need counseling because they are having their own problems.
- Struggling child – If a child is having problems in school or acting out at home, there may be a deeper cause to his or her problems. Sometimes the answer can lie in the child being confused because mom and dad have very different ideas on discipline and are unable to see it.
- Mental health – A family could be in turmoil because one member of the group has an undiagnosed mental health issue. Until that condition is diagnosed, the family member with a mental health issue might not improve on their own, and the family may go down with the ship.
If you're looking for family counseling in Osceola County, schedule an appointment at our Counseling Center in Kissimmee. We’re here to help.