Month: <span>May 2021</span>

Family Counseling

Resolving Family Conflict Through Family Counseling

In 2019, 9.5 percent of adults received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 11.1 percent of children ages 3-17 received treatment or counseling in the same year, reports The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Americans respond positively to counseling is good news. Counseling helps patients identify goals and solutions to their emotional turmoil. Our family counseling services in Westport do the same, teaching families how to deal with conflicts that affect their relationships as well as emotional and mental well-being.

What Is the Goal of Family Counseling?

The goals of counseling are very specific to each patient, or in this case, to each family unit. But the aim of counseling, in general, is to help a family achieve harmony and restore or establish a trusting relationship with one another. At the very least, counseling can help them find closure on long-standing issues that are preventing them from moving past hurts and disagreements.

Even the most loving of families can have major disagreements that cause long-term conflicts between members. Sometimes the problem is due to an unpleasant event, like a serious illness or addiction. Stressors like these can take a toll on all family members, affecting their mental and emotional health and causing rifts in the family dynamics.

By undergoing therapy together, clients can learn how to resolve family conflicts, such as grieving a loss or letting go of unrealistic expectations of one another.

Family Counseling

Types of Family Conflict

Below are the types of family conflict that our counselors often help clients with:

  • Financial problems – Money is one of the most common causes of fights between family members, whether they have too little or too much of it.
  • Tensions arising from the family business – Siblings and family members who work together to keep a business afloat are prone to disagreements. It can be challenging to prevent the animosity from spilling over to family matters.
  • Friction between in-laws – Friction emerges when two families come together because they have different collective habits, interests, traditions, and beliefs.
  • Conflicts between siblings who own or pass over responsibility for aging parents – Siblings fight over who should take responsibility for their parents when there are opposing opinions and disparities in resources (i.e., one can afford a private nurse while another cannot).
  • Conflicts between step-parents and step-children – Children can have varying reactions to their parents who remarry. Some are indifferent while others develop hostile feelings towards their step-parent or step-siblings. These negative emotions are converted into hurtful words and actions and cause even bigger fights in the family.
  • Disagreements over the child-rearing methods between divorced parents – Separated parents who don’t see eye to eye about their children’s upbringing will inevitably get into arguments. Their open hostility and disagreements take a toll on children, especially young ones and teenagers.

Resolve Family Conflicts through Counseling

Family counseling is not an overnight solution, but it is a good start and a healthy way to resolve conflicts in the family. There are several ways to approach family counseling, and they include strategic family therapy and CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy.

As a behavioral center, the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health uses CBT to teach families skills and habits that help them communicate better with one another. Apart from resolving existing issues, we also empower them to prevent future conflicts that may lead to divorce.

Get counseling from highly trained marital and family counselors and therapists in Westport. Request an appointment today.

family therapy

Family Divorce Counseling: Healing Conflicts through Therapy

There’s usually a lot of focus on helping children and parents cope with divorce as it happens. But we believe that they should receive just as much (if not more) counseling after their divorce is finalized.

Here’s one good reason why family counseling and post-divorce therapy is necessary: a social psychologist from the Colorado State University recently found that 13.79 percent of fathers and 19.61 percent of mothers used direct and indirect methods of parental alienation. This refers to the collective efforts of a divorced parent to emotionally distance their child from the other parent.

Why do some parents feel the need to “brainwash” and distort their children’s perception of their ex? How do such actions affect children, and how can they recover from the emotional trauma that can result from having parents who explicitly sabotage one another? These are matters that we address and hope to resolve through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for families that have gone through a divorce.

The Goals of Family Therapy

What is the goal of family counseling? In the context of divorce, the goals of cognitive behavioral family therapy can be:

  • To create a positive and cooperative parenting environment where children are not pulled into any unresolved conflict between the former spouses.
  • To give ex-spouses a venue where they can address sensitive issues and resolve conflict without the children present.
  • To foster a cooperative and at least civil relationship between the ex-spouses so that their children can feel supported and loved from both sides.

A court ruling finalizing a divorce doesn’t put an end to unresolved conflicts between parents and their children, but family counseling after a divorce can help them move in that direction.

Helping Children Deal with Divorced Parents

mom and daughter

Divorce is sometimes necessary, but some children might have a hard time understanding that. Where parents cannot satisfy their questions or appease their hurt feelings, child-focused counseling and CBT may fill in.

There is another area in which these therapies can be helpful: treating anxiety among children of divorce. Studies show that kids experience anxiety, anger, disbelief, and distress in the first one to two years after their parents’ divorce.

Child psychiatrists note that, in their desire to reduce their children’s anxiety, parents coddle them and take over tasks that could have taught them valuable lessons on how to be independent, among other things.

Through family counseling and CBT, children can learn how to deal with divorced parents and the negative feelings they experience during and after the divorce process. Likewise, parents can also become more aware of their actions and the effect they have on their children.

How to Be a Family After Divorce

Ultimately, the purpose of undergoing post-divorce counseling and CBT is for families to heal. Counselors help them rebuild lines of communication, which are essential for regaining each other’s trust and respect.

Through post-divorce therapy, parents will have the tools to rebuild themselves outside of marital context. Everyone can learn healthy ways to deal with negative emotions and correct their problematic responses to them. In the process, they will learn how to become a family after the divorce.

Get the guidance and therapy your family needs at The Center of Cognitive Behavioral Health. Our highly trained family counselors and CBT therapists in Westport will assess your situation, listen to your needs and goals, and deliver a program that will help each member of your family deal with their unresolved hurts and worries.

Start your family’s healing at The Center of Cognitive Behavioral Health. Request an appointment today.