What to Expect from Family Counseling

Jan 09, 2024

What to Expect from Family Counseling

Family counseling can offer numerous benefits. But, at its core, it’s all about improving relationships with loved ones, even if you don’t share the same DNA. Here’s what you should know about — and expect from — this type of counseling.

Life can be hard. And, sometimes, it’s hardest on families. But, when times get tough, family counseling can give you the tools you need to help.

People often assume that family counseling is only for blood relatives. However, our team at Associates in Behavioral Science understands that “family” can look different from household to household. That’s why our family counseling services aim to help loved ones improve their relationships and behaviors.

Here are a few ways family counseling could benefit your loved ones and how the process works.

When to consider family counseling

The purpose of counseling is fairly straightforward: A person talks with a trained expert to find solutions for a specific issue. Throughout the process, the expert helps the individual learn behaviors, strategies, and actions to make daily life more enjoyable and manageable. 

Family counseling has a similar goal, except it focuses on groups of people, not just an individual. This approach can be valuable in numerous situations, whether you need help improving communication, fostering understanding, or building a healthier, more supportive family.

Situations that can benefit from family counseling might include:

  • Parent-child or sibling conflict
  • Behavioral problems or developmental disabilities in children
  • Trouble at school
  • Domestic violence, separation, or divorce
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Strained relationships or communication problems
  • Major life events, like moving, chronic illness, the birth of a baby, or death of a loved one

Family counseling is also highly beneficial for those living with health conditions like disordered eating, substance use, or mental health issues.

Remember, when one person faces something, it impacts the entire family unit — even if you don’t live in the same household. But family counseling can help.

How family counseling works

Our experts use a personalized approach when working with families. As mentioned above, we understand that every family looks different, including the issues they may face.

First, we try to match you with a counselor you can trust. After all, you and your loved ones have to feel comfortable opening up during your counseling sessions to ensure you get results.

From there, we work to create a safe and supportive environment that allows your family to talk openly in a nonjudgmental environment. 

During these sessions, your counselor listens objectively and acts as a guide. Their goal is to help improve communications and interactions between loved ones. They also suggest healthy behaviors to support your family’s functioning and well-being.

Things you might expect from your counselor include:

  • Asking everyone about their goals, concerns, challenges, and hopes for family counseling
  • Encouraging participants to talk and listen to each other
  • Helping everyone understand the impact of their words and actions
  • Clarifying words and feelings to foster greater understanding
  • Exploring ways you can work to make positive changes together
  • Suggesting strategies to change problematic patterns and behaviors

Your counselor can also provide deeper understanding and strategies for those facing mental or behavioral health conditions. For instance, how to support a loved one while maintaining boundaries at the same time.

What to expect from family counseling

Since every family is different and has different needs, the number and frequency of counseling sessions can vary. 

Sometimes, loved ones only need a few sessions. In other cases, they require several months or more for the best results. Your counselor could also suggest individual meetings with family members in addition to the group sessions.

However, the good news is that nearly 90% of family therapy participants report an improvement in their emotional health. On top of that, almost 66% see improved physical health. And in parent-child cases, 73% of parents report improvements in their child’s behavior.

If you’re struggling with family conflicts or other problems, the most important thing you can do is reach out for help. Our team can find an approach to improve the health and function of your family unit. 

Contact Associates in Behavioral Health to schedule a family counseling consultation in Berwyn or West Dundee, Illinois today.