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Therapy Blog for Orem, American Fork, Spanish Fork & South Jordan
Family Counseling – A Family Affair
Family counseling is best done with as many of your family members as possible. It’s important to include those who are struggling and not just the parents. Yes, parents may need some individual work as a unit to help them know and understand how to improve (Related Article: Validate And Empower Your Adolescent Child and Parenting Adolescents 101), but ultimately you need others as well. Including children in family counseling, for example, gives you and the therapist opportunities to see the dynamics of your family. It also gives the therapist opportunities to set up enactments where you and your children connect and heal your relationship as you work through problems (Related Article: Family Counseling – How Parents Are Involved).
Why It’s Important To Bring Everyone To Family Counseling?
When everyone is present, the true dynamic of the family can appear. The therapist will then know what they are working with adn be able to help you build your attachments and heal your relationships (Related Article: Family Counseling – What To Expect).
You might need to have certain groups in your family meet with the therapist individually – such as the parents or the children. Or even a parent/child combination. However, this is just to augment the work you are doing together, as a whole.
What If We Don’t Get Along – Can The Therapist Help?
The simple answer to the question is, ‘Yes’. That is what a therapist is trained to do. It’s common for families to come into therapy where some of the members don’t want to be there. A good Utah marriage and family therapist will be able to help you and your family work through this. Not everyone has to get along and not everyone has to want to be there.
I once did a family counseling session where the son didn’t want to be there. As we spoke about the son’s emotional experience he cried and felt sad. I helped the parents acknowledge his uncomfortable emotions about not wanting to be there (i.e., feeling stuck and pressured) and his uncomfortable feelings in life (i.e., sad, hurt) (Related Article: Emotions 101: How To Be Healthy and 3 Principles Of Emotional Health). As they did this he trusted the process more and was ok participating because we were talking about what he couldn’t say in the first place. This helped him feel safe and open.