Is Your Family Struggling to Communicate and Connect Meaningfully?
Is your family struggling with ongoing conflict? Does it feel like your children don’t listen, often withdrawing to their bedrooms or pushing limits at home? Does your parenting style clash with that of your co-parent, or do you have differing ideas about discipline and consequences? Do you feel overwhelmed by calls from teachers about your child’s falling grades or acting out at school?
Perhaps you have one child whose struggle with behavioral, emotional, or learning issues is affecting the whole family. Maybe you’ve recently divorced, had another baby, moved or lost a member of your family and your children are responding poorly to the changes. Does your household continue to feel chaotic regardless of what you do or how hard you try to restore harmony and make an effort to see that everyone’s needs are being met? Do you wish all members of your family could feel safe, loved and supported? Are you consistently struggling to stay positive and muster the confidence you need to push through these tough time as a family?
Discord within your family can be exhausting and frustrating, and may even leave you feeling helpless. When communication and connection break down at home, stress and unease can spill over into other aspects of everyone’s life. Your kids may be having trouble at school, possibly acting out, withdrawing from friends, or quitting activities they once enjoyed. School issues, along with blending families, significant losses or major life transitions can cause conflict at home. Regardless of where the problem is stemming from, you may be struggling to maintain healthy boundaries and ensure that everyone feels loved, valued and heard. If the conflicts and struggles seem to be never ending, you may find yourself feeling totally overwhelmed and deeply worried about your family, as a whole.
Contact us today & feel good again
All Families Bump Up Against Challenges
If your family is struggling with conflict, communication or a difficult child, you are not alone. At some point, all families experience some kind of conflict, often in tandem with a major transition or crisis. The challenges your family faces can be amplified if these changes are sudden or unexpected, which is often the case following a trauma or a loss. It’s important to keep in mind that everyone copes differently. If one person is having a particularly hard time, his or her struggles can affect the whole family.
Family conflicts often accompany divorce and the process of blending families. Almost all divorced and blended families struggle with issues related to change, particularly at the start. It’s common for children to act out or withdraw during this time, and the change will be harder to manage for some than for others.
While all families could benefit from extra support and guidance along the way, there are times when seeking help becomes imperative to ensure the health and well-being of a family. If you have a child or children who are really struggling, are experiencing ongoing, disruptive conflicts with your co-parent, or feel isolated and overwhelmed, family counseling can help you gain the support, insight and tools you need to navigate this challenging time and restore peace in your home.
Family Counseling Can Help Your Family Work as a Team
Family counseling can be extremely effective – sometimes even more so than working with family members individually. When we look at the whole family to address problems, multiple perspectives and patterns often emerge, allowing us to identify and implement effective solutions. When all members of your family have the opportunity to share and listen, you can develop compassion and a deeper understanding of one another, strengthening bonds and diminishing judgment and tension.
In safe, collaborative sessions, the counselors at West Hartford Holistic Counseling Center can help your family begin working as a team again. Taking a systematic approach, your therapist can help you take a step back and view your whole family system to consider your challenges from a broader perspective. This approach can help you better understand the specific issues within the bigger picture. In sessions, your therapist will give everyone an opportunity to share their respective experiences, and you’ll work collaboratively to identify what’s causing the conflicts within the family. You’ll begin to recognize that no one person is the problem and that it’s possible for you to address the conflicts within the family system as a team. You can begin to view conflicts as an opportunity for growth and change, rather than allowing them to continue pulling your family apart. You can use the struggles of today to deepen connection and create a stronger foundation for the future.
Your counselor will tailor a therapeutic strategy that best addresses your family’s unique history, needs and goals. In sessions, your therapist can provide you with tools and tips to foster effective communication, as well as set and maintain healthy boundaries. You can come up with family rules, and devise a list of appropriate consequences for broken agreements. Everyone will have the opportunity to adapt new ways to learn from mistakes, practice self-care and support one another during times of heightened stress.
With the right approach, the help of a skilled therapist and the willingness to engage in the family counseling process, it is possible to foster a family system based on love and respect. Everyone can feel valued and heard, leading to better communication and increased harmony within your home. You can strengthen the bond that exists among all your family members, and develop the skills needed to tackle anything that comes your way.
Although you may need guidance navigating this challenging time, you still may have questions or concerns about family counseling…
Only one of our children is having a hard time. What’s the benefit of bringing the whole family in for counseling?
So much of how children respond to stress is influenced by who they are and how they feel within their family. It can be helpful for a therapist to see how family dynamics play out in the therapy office; having this information often leads to swifter and more effective results. Further, although only one child may be acting out, his or her behavior is likely affecting everyone in the family. In family counseling, all members have the opportunity to express feelings in a safe place with your therapist can act as a mediator if or when uncomfortable issues arise.
We are all so busy. I’m not sure we could sync everyone’s schedules to meet for sessions at the same time.
This is a common and understandable concern for families considering counseling, which is why we offer appointments after school and evenings. While you’re all busy, it’s important to consider family counseling as an investment in the well-being of your family. When things stabilize within your home, all members of your family can achieve greater success in other aspects of their lives. In addition, you will not be in family counseling forever; the goal is to identify the issues that are contributing to your challenges and apply effective solutions. At the close of counseling, you’ll be able to move forward with more skills and a stronger family bond.
We tried family counseling in the past and it didn’t work. How could it be different if we tried again?
Every therapist has a different style, and it’s important to find one who works well with your family. Our therapists are highly skilled, tailoring specific strategies and tools to meet the unique needs of your family. In your initial sessions, you can explain what did not work in past counseling sessions, so missteps are not repeated. Your therapist will work in collaboration with you to ensure that progress is being made. As a team, you can respect what is working and strengthen or change what is not.
You Can Create a Harmonious Family System
It is possible to navigate this challenging time with effective support, compassion and increased ease; there is hope and help. We invite you to call our office for a free phone consultation 860-258-4171 to discuss your specific needs and to answer any questions you have about family counseling, our practice and how we can help.