how helpful health care clinics can be

Who Can Family Counseling Help?

by Bonnie Gordon

The words "family counseling" seem like they have an obvious meaning. Your family has a problem and they need counseling, so you see a therapist together as a group. That said, what types of problems, issues and conditions do family therapists treat? There isn't just one reason for seeing this type of mental health professional. Couples, whole families and parent-child pairs go into therapy for an array of reasons. The good news is that starting treatment provides you and your loved ones with the added help needed to make positive changes, come together, overcome obstacles and take charge. So what does family counseling, like from Clinical Services, truly mean and what types of issues can it tackle?

Elder care.

Family counseling isn't just for parents with young children. It's also for adult children with elderly parents. Roughly 21 percent of families in America are affected by caring responsibilities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The effects of caring for an elderly parent or relative touch marriages, other parent-child relationships and the caregiver themselves. Counseling helps to reduce the depression and stress that the caregiver may have and improve communication among the family members, notes the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Financial issues.

When a spouse loses a job or times get tough financially, the whole family feels the impact. Couples may argue, parents may feel guilty and children may feel anxious. Family counseling offers an alternative to feeling the stress of financial strain. Counselors are trained to work with families, helping them to overcome the mental and emotional parts of economic hardship.

Blended families.

Melding two families together takes work. At the heart of blending a stepfamily is the marriage, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Family counseling can help work out marital issues, sooth anxieties and worries that the children have and improve overall communication.

Juvenile offenders.

When an older child or teen gets into trouble with the law, family counseling can come to the rescue. The therapist can get to the root of the issue, help the family to heal and even fulfill court-mandated counseling requirements.

Childhood behavioral issues.

When a child acts out or has a diagnosis, the entire family feels it. Group counseling provides everyone in the family with the tools that they need to make positive changes, help the child to succeed and handle the added stress that the issues may bring to the household.

Along with these examples, family counseling can help couples who are going through the changes that a new baby brings, marital problems, stress brought upon by a child with an illness or other issues that impact both individuals and the entire group.