Every family faces its own unique set of challenges. Perhaps your family is experiencing problems with sibling rivalries, or maybe you’re facing more serious issues such as substance abuse and addiction. No matter how big or small your problems may seem, it’s important to evaluate your situation to determine whether the help of a professional is needed.
We’ve put together a basic checklist to aid the start of your therapy decision-making process. If one or more of the following symptoms applies to your family, it may be the right time to seek therapy services.
It’s been awfully quiet: Communication is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy family unit. Put simply, you won’t know what’s going on in your family members’ lives or how they’re feeling if you don’t talk to them. If you’re experiencing a sudden onset of quiet car rides or silent dinners, it may indicate that your family is finding it more difficult than usual to talk to each other.
We’ve changed: Sudden changes in your family dynamic can present many new challenges. It will be difficult for family members to make life adjustments after facing traumatic experiences such as divorce, death and unemployment.
Leave me alone: You may find it hard to actively listen and participate in conversation if you’re withdrawing from the rest of the family. Conversely, you may feel like you’re speaking to a wall if it’s another family member who’s withdrawing. Maybe your teenager even heads straight to his or her room after school and doesn’t come out until the next day. Individuals seclude themselves mentally and physically for reasons that are usually connected to some form of emotional distress.
Emotional extremes: Unlike withdrawn individuals, family members who exhibit excessive emotions such as fear, anger or depression will have extreme reactions. These reactions, which may include screaming or crying, can put the entire household in distress.
The kids aren’t all right: Is your child acting out? Whether your fourth-grader is ignoring homework or your high schooler is engaging in high-risk sexual behavior, it’s important to pay attention and confront negative changes in your child’s lifestyle.
Substance abuse or experimentation: Addressing alcohol and drug use can be one of the hardest tasks a family endures. If you suspect or know that someone in your family is using substances illegally and/or excessively, don’t ignore the problem.
You may feel that you’re admitting defeat if you’ve decided family therapy is right for you. In reality, the opposite is true. Choosing to enter therapy illustrates that you’re willing to fight for your family. Asking for outside help is not failure, but rather the first step to overcoming the roadblocks your family has been tirelessly facing. If you have any questions regarding family therapy, please contact EDGE Counseling Solutions at (224) 676-2317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.