Sometimes, families go through many difficulties because of one family member or several members of the family. They experience difficulties with communication, trauma, divorce or separation of parents, loss or a debilitating illness of a family member, family violence, substance abuse, balancing home and work or school problems in children. Family counselors provide individual, couples, and family counseling. The Wellness Center offers a free consultation to determine if a particular family will work well with a particular counselor.
Family counselors with an experiential focus have goals for families to develop a sense of togetherness and autonomy, build self-esteem, relieve family pain, and overcome blocks to personal growth. They also focus on reducing anxiety and rebuilding trust and fairness. A counselor may use Behavioral or Cognitive therapies to focus on modifying behavior and to eliminate maladaptive behaviors. The counseling process also emphasizes learning, creating new viewpoints, and giving new meanings to problems. Counselors may use a narrative approach to focus on alternative stories helpful to the family, separating the person from the problem, re-envisioning the family’s past and rewriting their future. All approaches have in common building a strong alliance with a family and its members based on trust and respect, assessment and utilization of support systems, and the negotiation of expectations, hopes, and resources to make counseling useful.
Below are specific issues that we help families with:
- Alcoholism & addictions
- Divorce, separation and re-marriage
- Grief counseling
- Retirement counseling
- Work and home balance
- Issues with extended family
- Children’s school-related problems
- Mindfulness coaching for families