Sometimes all the family photos look perfect. However, underneath there is anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, misunderstanding, a lack of trust, or something else going. Perhaps it’s just that one person feels left out or that others just don’t get it. In other words, you’re just like every other family out there. The one difference is that you’ve taken a step to do something about these feelings and to help your family become a stronger unit.
Families are as diverse in their makeup as the individuals who compose their fabric, but some patterns blend less well than others. Conflict in families is normal and can even be healthy. But too often, conflict in families can be destructive, leading to feelings of isolation, hopelessness, anger, and even rage. In high conflict families, the conflict can adversely affect the emotional and mental health of each member of the family
Developing strategies to resolve conflict and taking a breather from life stressor’s to repair the romantic connection; reminding children that they are loved, and creating a safe space for children to articulate their complex emotions
Learn how to set spending limits, reach consensus about budgets, and learn to collaborate on high-stakes financial decisions
Disagreements over parenting are common. Family therapy can help parents get on the same page. Establish effective routines for homework, bedtime, & chores, and infusing fun into the mix
How to break the news of your separation to the kids and supporting children through the grieving process; reduction of chaos: how to reorganize everyday life and parent effectively when you live separately; learning how to navigate remarriage and the nuances of blending together two dissimilar family units
From the terrible twos to the teenage years: how to escape parenting without acquiring a body count; recognizing the warning signs that your child may be in crisis; striking a balance between empowering your adolescent to make their own decisions and instituting firm boundaries
Learn how to spot the warning signs of ADHD, intellectual/developmental disabilities, dyslexia, and specific learning disorders; help your child to self-motivate vs. self-defeat in the classroom; and address problematic opposition from your child toward his educator
Liberal vs. conservative, Christian vs. atheist, LGBTQ+ vs. rigid traditional beliefs — the list of potential discrepancies is endless! But divergent views don’t have to drive a wedge into your familial relationship. Learn how to achieve common ground without knocking each other down.
How to cope with and support a family member through a mental health concern (substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, mood disturbances, etc.), a chronic illness (when a family member receives a diagnosis of cancer, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, etc.), or another medical condition (stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury etc.)
Most family differences are reconcilable – although there are exceptions regarding forms of domestic abuse; or the physical and/or sexual abuse of children. We can help families recover after these situations also; but sometimes, for the safety of the family, separation from an abusive family member is necessary. However, under more ordinary circumstances, family therapy can be executed in joint (most common) or in separate, individual sessions. But regardless of the method of execution, the overarching goals of family counseling are similar.
Picture this, I am visiting the home of one of my closest friends, in a suburban neighborhood in West Michigan. I am a black, African immigrant.