Family life can sometime be tricky. Over time, family relationships become more complicated, like when children grow and their personalities become more defined, when there’s difficulties within the parents’ relationship, social pressures and other different stressors.

I’m sometimes asked when are good times to consider family counselling. There are five moments when family counselling can clearly help.

Family conflicts can occur from many sources, like a new member of the family (baby, step parent, step siblings, etc), differences between parents and children, like teenagers acting out. Family counselling can be a great way of understanding what is happening and finding a solution.

Divorce or separation are maybe some of the most stressful situations that a family can face. Children need help adapting to the new family structure and perhaps accepting one or two new step parents and step siblings. Divorce can be quite difficult for families, sadness, stress, anger, guilt can flare up in unexpected ways and increase the stress in an already stressful experience. In Guelph, family counselling can help kids understand that divorce and separation are not their fault and as well as helping them adapt to the new situation. It is important to keep the children’s world and routines as close as possible to what they were, and parents need to develop a healthy way of communicating with the children and between themselves, even when the relationship is a contentious one.

Traumatic experiences arising from accidents, criminal acts or violence can have lasting effects. Family counselling can help reduce the lasting effects of these experiences and help families cope.

Loss is a difficult experience. It can be due to the loss of a loved one, a cherished family pet, a friend who has moved or any type of loss. The effect of loss can manifest in many different ways to different people, however, you should be able to get through it and continue your life. When that is not happening, it is time to get counselling. Counselling can facilitate the grieving process and assist in the transition.

Illnesses, particularly chronic or long lasting ones can be a very stressful situation and the difficulty of not being able to talk about feelings and fears openly can increase the situation to an unbearable level. Struggling with illnesses can create feelings of fear, guilt (because of the desire to continue enjoying life even when the loved one can’t), anger, frustration and sadness. Family counselling can help the whole family unit cope better with the situation, prepare for the different possibilities and feel better so that the stress is reduced and focus on helping the loved one can happen.

These are some examples of when family counselling can be of great help. There many other situations in which family counselling can be very valuable. Facing one of these situations? Contact Eugenio Counselling to get help right away.