Are you feeling like ‘one big happy family’ is not the description you’d associate with your family? You are not alone. In today’s world, technology, society, politics, the educational system and job environments bring bring a lot of pressure on each member of the family. When this happens sometimes your children are the first ones to exemplify the effects.
Even though the issues may be with the children, many parents make the misstep of thinking that counseling is like advanced day care. You drop a kid off at the nearest child psychologist. Then you come back an hour later and find that child psychologist has worked a near miracle and your kid is “fixed”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work like that. The reality is that when your child perceives problems it effects the whole family. Whether those problems are real or whether they are just felt from a child’s point of view your whole family is affected. Thus, the whole family can play a role in getting back in balance.
You may ask which is better a child psychologist or a family counseling. The concerns your child feels, again whether real or perceived, affect the whole family. Family counseling services are designed to take family dynamics into consideration as goals for your child are developed and worked on. Often, each member in the family may begin to feel better even if the child is the primary person receiving counseling.
There are so many child psychologists and family counseling services, how do I choose?
If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re on the right path. It seems counterintuitive, but the search actually should start after you present it to your family.
“I think something is wrong with you. I want you to get counseling.”
You need some help. You are going to therapy.
Are you crazy? You must need a psychologist
These statements may turn your child off from the idea of counseling all together. Telling them something is wrong, they need help or calling them names will likely lead to have negative feelings about counseling and closing off more.
Possible approaches “
Once you sit down with your family, you can have an open conversation about how everyone feels about doing a family activity that will help each person grow stronger as an individual and grow stronger as a family. Instead of telling your family members what is going to happen, ask open ended questions that allow them to voice their thoughts. Even if they don’t agree about counseling, there is at least the basis to say something like “well, I would like to try it and I’m hoping you’ll all help me because I think this is good for our family”. That approach will win you tons more support.