Family counseling is one of the multiple types of psychotherapy but in contrast with individual counseling, family psychotherapy embrace the needs of the whole family and/or the couple seeking counseling. Family counseling may have one or more goals. Families or couples enter family counseling seeking improvement in the current relationships among members of the family system. It may be a specific incident or multiple problems that are out of control and threatens the wellbeing of the family and/or relationship. It does not matter how big or small the issue or issues may be, counseling can be a wonderful way to explore concerns, learn new thing about each other and perhaps even about the world in general. It can allow a family to connect better, both with each other and within themselves as individuals. Exploring emotional problems and then working on solutions will develop healthier hearts and minds. It may even provide the building blocks for a more functional, communicative and perhaps even harmonious household.
For families, family counseling often helps because it involves a disinterested third party who does not favor any one member of the family. This is generally why a therapist for one family member will not agree to be a family counselor for the patient’s family. The family therapist will only work with the family as a whole and not with separated members of the family unit.
WARNING SIGNS OF A TROUBLED MARRIAGE!
If you think your marriage is in trouble, it probably is. Every marriage relationship is unique, but there are common warning signs and red flags that indicate problems in the marriage.
Here are some of the more common warnings signs of a troubled marriage:
- The two parents bicker a great deal and/or there is constant conflict between parents and child(ren)
- You do not trust one another and feel suspicious
- You do not fight fair
- There is a lot of nitpicking going on between the two of you
- You no longer have fun together or within the family system
- You do not have anything nice to say to your partner
- You do not talk with one another about your problems
- You do not respect one another or you “nag” your partner as much as you can
- One or both of you have considered being unfaithful or has been unfaithful –in real life and/or online.
- You are withdrawing from one another or use to roll your eyes often when your partner complains about an issue.
- You can’t agree on goals and values
- The level of sexual intimacy in you marriage is low or gone
- You realize that there is emotional and/or physical abuse in your marriage
- You are happier when your spouse is away from home for an afternoon, a meeting, or for a business trip
- Teasing has become hurtful
- Your spouse tries to isolate you from your family and friends
- You discover your spouse is lying about money
YOU NO LONGER, HAVE ANYTHING IN COMMON
Do you and your partner spend hours together under the same roof, at social engagements or performing routine errands, yet rarely engage in meaningful conversation? Living in silence is a primary symptom of a major marital problem.
A CHANGE IN APPEARANCE
Over time, your comfort level will inevitably end that desire to look “perfect” for every encounter with your partner. However, a drastic decline in personal appearance and hygiene by your spouse could be a sign of they no longer care or, are happy in the marriage.
YOU CAN DO NO RIGHT
Do you feel like your every action is being watched and criticized by your partner? Can you do no right in their eyes? Do you feel intimidated or afraid because of your partner constant criticism? Too often partners will funnel larger relationship issues into negative criticism of day-to-day tasks.
YOU ARE THE LAST TO KNOW
Is your partner no longer sharing information with you about his/her career, personal problems or personal achievements? Is you partner sharing this information with a friend and you hear it second hand? Whey you become the last to know important information there has been a huge breakdown in communication.
LOOKING FOR DISTRACTIONS FROM THE PROBLEMS
If the television is on constantly you both sit with your face buried in a book or you always have something else that needs to be done there may be a problem. It is common for individuals to find such distractions to avoid dealing with a troubled marriage.
ARGUING OVER THE SAME SUBJECT REPEATEDLY
If you arguments become routine with all the same issues and no resolution, then your marriage is either standing still or dying fast. You may need the assistance of a professional counselor to help find solutions to the problems that don’t seem to go away.
INTIMACY IS A THING OF THE PAST
A considerable decline in physical affection is one of the most recognized symptoms of a failing relationship. Intimacy is the act that allows us to bond as couple. If your partner is showing no or very little interest in intimacy with you then they are showing little concern for their emotional bond with you as a couple..
There are people who stay in an unhappy marriage until the resentment builds and they feel they have no choice but to divorce. They don’t voice their unhappiness, they go with the hoping something will change and the problems will be instantly solved. Then there are those who “try” with everything they have to make the marriage work before they leave. These people are problem solvers who feel they owe it to the marriage to try to find solutions to the problems before they throw in the towel. Maintaining a marriage and solving problems within the marriage takes skills. The couple may think they are doing all they can to solve the problems in a marriage but, a marriage counselor can be of great benefit in teaching the couple new ways of solving problems and getting our needs met.
HERE IS A LIST OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELING BENEFITS
You will learn how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner. In marriage counseling you will learn communication skills that will help you not only listen to your spouse but, to also process what your spouse is saying.
You will learn how to state your needs clearly and openly without resentment or anger.
You will learn how to be assertive without being offensive. Both spouses need to be able to talk about their issues without fear or hurting the other spouse. In marriage counseling you will learn that you can get what you need without having to make demands and engage in conflict.
You will learn to process and work through unresolved issues. Marriage counseling offers a safe environment for expressing any unhappiness you feel. Getting your feelings out into the open with the help of a trained professional may be all you need. You may find that your spouse is more than willing to work together to solve the problems in the marriage. You may also find that your spouse is unwilling to do the work. If so, you are then free to leave the marriage without any guilty because you have given it you best shot.
You will develop a deeper understanding of your spouse and what his/her needs are. Better yet, you will learn more deeply who you are and what you needs are. You may end up finding that your needs can be met inside the marriage.
If you wait too long to seek family counseling the odds are against you. Even if you feel it is too late and no amount of counseling will help the only way to know for sure is to seek professional help. Doing so will keep you from making a mistake you will later regret. If you are thinking about divorce, protect yourself from future regret by working with a marriage counselor. Family therapy is usually much cheaper than the most inexpensive divorce!