Family is important, plain and simple. The bonds you have with your parents, siblings, and children will last for your lifetime. But just like every other relationship, your familial bonds need to be maintained, especially during periods of conflict. Even if you've never been to therapy before, your family can benefit in many ways by visiting a family therapist in Chicago.
Whether your family is a close-knit group, or you argue more often than not, every family can find some value from this private form of group therapy. Today we'll break down the top 6 benefits your family stands to gain from family counseling.
1. Develop and Maintain Healthy Boundaries
We all need some boundaries as we grow up. Boundaries help create a healthy sense of personal space and self-responsibility, and they help us process our own emotions.
Weak boundaries (or non-existent ones) are never good for young children. Without healthy boundaries, individuals can really struggle to deal with their own issues and will fall into inappropriate behaviors, some of which can stick around for a lifetime!
Fortunately, family therapy can help establish healthy boundaries between family members. Counseling creates a safe environment where mutual respect for each other's personal space is assured and where your family can discuss boundary violations and ways to avoid repeat occurrences.
2. Address Mental Health Issues with Children
As children grow up, they can develop a wide range of mental health afflictions, disorders, and other issues that disadvantage them in childhood and later adult life. As research has shown, many of those issues may be correlated to family dynamics. And that's where family counseling can help.
Research has suggested that family therapy can effectively address mental health issues in children (Journal of Family Therapy). By talking through the issues with your kids at therapy, you can get to the root causes of their behaviors.
3. Improve Communication
It can be very easy for simple communications to be misunderstood or misinterpreted. This is because we all have different communication styles. Some people have aggressive communication preferences while others may rely more on passive styles of communication. When messages are miscommunicated, this can create conflict within your family structure.
When you participate in family therapy, your clinician will help you examine your family's communication strategies. They'll help pinpoint where misunderstandings arise and what may cause any misinterpretations. From there, they'll facilitate communication activities to help address those issues. These activities may include things like:
- Active listening techniques
- Communication origami
- Questioning stereotypes
- Team building exercises
- And so on...
When your family can communicate better, you'll experience less conflict and enjoy family time more often.
4. Provide Education on Mental Illness
Mental health disorders can be difficult to understand and live with, even for other family members without similar conditions. For example, let's assume that one of your family members has a serious mental illness (SMI) such as schizophrenia. Some family members may have misunderstandings about the disorder and may not know how to act around their loved one who is struggling to cope with a SMI.
Family counseling can help address those concerns. Through the counseling sessions, your family will become educated about mental illness so that you all have a better understanding of it. Counseling can also help your family members develop communication methods to better support your loved one. And family therapy can even help the patient adjust to their psychological changes as well.
5. Instill Trust Between Family Members
Trust can be a difficult thing to build, but it's the most important quality of any healthy relationship. Trust allows us to be vulnerable and lean on the support of others when we need it most (Psych Central). If your trust in other family members has been damaged, you won't have the support system that you need for a healthy work-life balance.
Family therapy provides a safe environment for you to be vulnerable with your family. It's the ideal venue in which to bring up your grievances with others, open up about any repressed emotions, and slowly reestablish trust with others.
6. Work Through a Crisis or Major Change
Over time, your family will likely encounter a handful of life-changing events. These may include events like:
- Death in the family
- Chronic illnesses
- Cross-country moves
- And so on...
These events can be extremely difficult for children to grapple with. And parents can have an equally hard time navigating these complex life events. But when you seek out family counseling in Chicago, you'll be offered the support your family needs to work through those difficult transitions.
Book Your First Session with Our Family Therapist in Chicago
If you're looking for a licensed family counselor near you, you've come to the right place. At Wellington Counseling Group, we have several family therapists on staff who have a wide range of experiences working with both children and adults. We will help your family find the appropriate resolutions to any interpersonal issues you're experiencing.
Contact us today to book your first session with our family therapist in Chicago.