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.
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.