Let’s face it – not all families fit into the old stereotype of the problem-free, two-kids-and-a-dog suburban dream.
For those of us who live in the real world, far away from the “Leave it to Beaver” era, family life can look anything but idyllic.
Marriage is hard work, children quarrel, and life essentially consists of constant changes that require adjustment and resilience.
Thankfully, from the broad field of counseling, family therapy offers help and solutions. This modality is designed to address the psychological health of the family unit as a whole and may consist of individual, couple, and family meetings throughout the course of treatment. While it may seem like a daunting task – and a chore to schedule – the benefits of family therapy far outweigh the cost.
Here are a few ways families benefit from counseling:
- Taking the time and money to meet with a therapist sets a positive precedent for your children, as it shows them that it’s okay to get help from a professional when times are tough. With a positive experience in therapy behind them, they will be more likely to return to therapy when they face challenges in the future.
- Whether it’s financial hardship, the death of a loved one, divorce/remarriage, addiction, LGBTQ issues, or significant mental health challenges, family therapists have seen it all. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll stump your family therapist with a problem they’ve never worked with. Utilize the experience and expertise of a seasoned professional – no need to reinvent the wheel or go at it alone!
- It may be a new problem for your family, or an entrenched issue from long ago, but regardless of the issue, change is possible. Family therapists offer psychoeducation, research-based techniques, and communication strategies that can make even the toughest issue easier to manage. Families who learn new skills in this area are much more likely to successfully manage future life challenges.
Therapists are very familiar with clients who wait years and years before seeking help. We hear many adults lament the loss and suffering that delaying therapy has caused them. Don’t make the same mistake – especially if you still have kids at home – as this may be the only opportunity you have for family therapy. It’s a lot harder to get families with adult children in the room.
Family therapy is provided by a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). These providers have specialized training in this modality of treatment and are well prepared to work with multiple people. Other mental health professionals who have had formal training in this area may also provide family therapy.
PRO Club employs full-time providers who specialize in family therapy, and we are currently taking new patients. Summer is a great time to start therapy, as schedules tend to be more flexible. To learn more, contact The Counseling Center at PRO Sports Club at 425-462-2776.
By Brittany Steffen, MS, LMFT is a counselor at PRO Club’s Counseling Center. If you have a question for her, write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question and her advice could appear in a future issue of PRO Pulse.