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Sure Signs That Your Family Needs Counseling

The most important group of all the groups you will ever belong to is your family. The family is the place where we learn to communicate, handle differences, celebrate achievements. It is the safe place from our daily lives and from the outside world. But, when this unit has issues, it is best to recognize them in time and handle them properly before our safe heaven becomes truly endangered.

Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way – Tolstoy wrote this more than a century ago, but it is still true.

Sure, every family has its own issues. Arguments, resentments, troubles… In most cases, these issues solve themselves in time, but how to know if they will be resolved the same way this time?

You can never look at someone else’s family and recognize your family’s problems. They are all unique, and there is no singular prescription that will help you deal with issues your family has. So, once this basic life support system shows signs of weakening or instability, you need to take decisive action.

These are signs that you might need to do something to protect your family and help its members return to each other.

Drama rules

It’s enough for one family member to be in trouble for the entire dynamics to be thrown off. If a family member feels like no one can understand them, no one knows how to fix what is wrong with them, and they truly suffer, you need to take action. In a unit as close as the family is, no one suffers alone, problems and alienation of one member affect everyone.


A complete opposite to an emotional family member is one who closes himself off from the rest of the family. Do you feel like a family member is disengaged? Are they physically or mentally away? They might have a serious reason for it, and you need to look into it. One of the reasons might be depression, and even though they would need individual therapy, the entire family should go into counseling in order to learn how to deal with this and show support.

Communication cease

Suddenly it seems that it is very quiet in your home, and you don’t even talk at the dinner table the way you used to? Families need to talk. If you don’t share laughter, sorrows, if you are not informed about each other’s lives, and if you are not there to support each other through all the problems in life, then your family is in trouble. It is time to learn how to communicate with each other again, and counseling could help immensely.

Substance abuse

When someone in the family is using, it will be felt in the entire unit. Alcohol and drug abuse are never easy to admit, but if you think someone in the family is addicted, chances are that you are not wrong. This is something you have to address as a family, be firm, supportive and united. Counseling, support groups and a lot of understanding can get your family through this ordeal.

Kids are acting out

You know how adorable it is when your kids take in your gestures and use your favorite phrases? Well, they do the same with emotions. When something is wrong with the family, they are the first ones to feel it. Also, they will let you know that that state of affairs troubles them rather quickly. They will act out at home, or in school. You should take some time to listen to them, and act while you can still repair the damage.

If your family does need a therapist, it is best that you find the best one for you, someone who will be able to fit right into your mutual conversations seamlessly. If you need a recommendation, ask your family doctor, a local mental health center, or friends who have been in therapy.

Of course, family therapy only makes sense if you all attend it. Going to therapy without one family member is like driving a car with a missing wheel – it will get you somewhere, but you will not reach your desired destination. Once you all attend family sessions, you will have a better understanding of what is going on and a chance to share your concerns. In time, therapy will strengthen your family and enable it to handle the next problem without therapists help.

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