Family Therapy

Is Your Family Having Communication Issues Or Other Problems?

Has your child been acting out? If they’ve been misbehaving or talking back, you may wonder whether they are just looking for attention or whether something more worrisome is going on. The continual power struggle may be wearing your patience thin, creating household tension and frustration.

Have the lines of communication broken down? No matter how hard you try, you may feel like you’re not getting through to your child. At the same time, you may feel like they’re keeping things from you. Despite their refusal to talk about it, you may worry that they’re having trouble at school, being bullied, or engaging in risky behaviors.

Is your relationship with your child weaker than it used to be? While it’s normal for children to be somewhat secretive, you may worry that their lack of communication is due to your weakening bond. You may not be able to quite put your finger on it, but you may have the nagging feeling that something isn’t right with your relationship.

Perhaps you’ve tried all the parenting hacks and tricks you can think of. You may also have put your child into individual therapy or taken parenting classes—only to see unsatisfactory results. Dealing with your child’s issues may feel like more than you can handle, especially if you’re also dealing with your own problems. But there are still things you can do to mend the bonds between you.

Every Family Encounters Bumps In The Road

Trying to maintain strong family bonds is no easy task. In a perfect world, every family member would have good mental health, the lines of communication would be wide open, and the family would never encounter any significant obstacles. Obviously, that’s not how it works.

A lot of kids struggle with anxiety and/or depression fueled by bullying, academic pressures, and problematic peer relationships. Developmental disabilities are also common among children, making life an uphill battle for them. Parents are also under a lot of stress. They are just as susceptible to mental health problems, all while shouldering the overwhelming responsibilities of parenthood, adult relationships, and practical concerns.

When one person struggles, the entire family is typically affected. Relationships may start to deteriorate, and conflicts may arise. Children seek greater independence as they grow older, so problems often get worse over time. An unexpected life change such as a move to a new city—or a family crisis such as a divorce or death—can also cause family relationships to take a turn for the worse.

Secure relationships help families weather challenges, but those connections can easily break down without maintenance. With family counseling, you, your child(ren), and other members of the family can uncover the source of your challenges and take steps to resolve them.

Family Counseling Helps You To Work Through Life’s Challenges Together

If you and your family are struggling to get along, it’s possible to make things right again. Sunshine Child Counseling offers a wide variety of family-oriented services, including mother-daughter and father-son counseling, multicultural family therapy, family grief counseling, and more. By meeting with your family as a group, our experienced therapists can help you get through significant life changes, heal toxic family relationships, and restore peace and calm to your household.

Our therapists will gently facilitate the exploration of family issues and relationship problems. By observing how you interact with each other from an unbiased perspective, we can help you better understand and meet each other’s needs. For example, your family therapist might notice that your child looks away from you or moves to the other side of the room when you discuss their problems in school. If your child is feeling embarrassed or upset, we can help you tune into that and suggest ways for you to provide support.

Younger kids, in particular, often struggle to communicate their needs. For example, the only way a toddler knows how to express hurt feelings may be through tantrums. Should you notice your child intentionally breaking the rules or pushing your buttons, that may be their way of asking for help. We can observe your child’s behaviors during our conversations and as they play during therapy. By sharing our observations with you, you’ll learn more about their needs and how to meet them.

For older children, communication lines often break down due to power struggles. For example, if your teen thinks your rules are too restrictive, they might react by getting angry or refusing to speak with you. We can encourage more productive interactions by helping your child voice their needs in healthy and constructive ways. At the same time, we can help you communicate the need for rules in a way that shows how much you care. In most cases, you will be unable to give your child everything they ask for, but we can help you find compromises that work for everyone.

Once you have a clearer picture of what’s missing in your family relationships, it will be much easier to repair them. During family therapy, our therapists will use reflective listening skills to help acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings. As you observe how we interact with your child, you’ll pick up skills you can use at home to help them open up to you, strengthening your relationship.

Life will inevitably throw obstacles your way, but family counseling can help you overcome them. For example, if you are amicably separated or about to divorce, or if you are dealing with blended family issues as you welcome someone new into your life, we can help your child and family cope with these issues in healthy ways and offer tips for minimizing conflict.

Engaging in therapy together as a family can help you address big-picture issues that might otherwise go unaddressed. The strengthened communication between you—combined with the quality time activities we can recommend—can mend family bonds. As a result, your child may be more likely to communicate with and lean on you when they need help instead of acting out.

As you consider family therapy, you may have some concerns. . .

My child is the one causing the problems. Are you sure I need to be there?

Your child might indeed benefit from individual child counseling, and we can explore that possibility during our first conversation. But in many cases, children’s issues have just as much to do with family dynamics as they do with a child’s internal struggles. It isn’t easy for children to break old habits, so big behavioral changes often depend on a caregiver’s parenting skills. Unless everyone is on the same page, there is only so much a therapist can do to create meaningful improvements.

I’m worried that you might take sides or judge my parenting skills.

Our therapists have years of counseling experience, but we’ve yet to meet the perfect parent. We know how difficult it is to raise a child while juggling other responsibilities, so we’re not here to judge you—just to help. We all have our faults, but with a sympathetic family counselor at your side, you can learn how to be a better parent as you build stronger family bonds.

This sounds expensive. Can I really afford it?

Family therapy sessions with us are just as affordable as individual sessions because we won’t charge you anything more for bringing in multiple family members. We are also in-network with a variety of insurance companies. In most cases, co-pays for family counseling are the same as those for individual sessions. If you want to resolve your family’s issues quickly and completely, family counseling can provide a high return on your investment.

Create Close, Supportive Relationships Through Family Therapy

Family dynamics are complex, and improving them takes work, but we’ll be there every step of the way. Contact us for a free, 20-minute phone consultation to start the process of building family relationships that are more open, peaceful, and supportive.

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