Family Counseling: stop yelling, start connecting.
Written by Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed.
When you think of counseling, I bet you think of a one-on-one session – even for children and teens. And while there are many highly qualified counselors who do that work, I want you to imagine what counseling might be like if everyone who lives with and cares about a child could be in the room. If I had a dollar for every time a parent has wondered what, exactly, happened between their child and a former therapist in those one-on-one sessions, I could buy us all nice dinner out. And while we are eating that meal together, I would share that I personally find family counseling to be one of the most connected and effective ways of helping families.
Family counseling feels a little bit more like group counseling, where everyone has a shared concern. Yes, it may be that one person has a concern or a diagnosis that led to counseling – the child who has ADHD or is on the autism spectrum, or perhaps the teen who is anxious, depressed, or trying out smoking, alcohol, substances or other drugs. And yet … I am asking parents, siblings and caregivers to be a part of the treatment process.
We know that family counseling is singularly effective in improving outcomes related to discipline, behavioral concerns, ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, academic success, supporting giftedness, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, family conflict, coparenting after divorce, grief, cutting, suicidality, and substance use or recovery from addiction. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that cost and time are sometimes barriers to family counseling (but, hey, that’s why I offer weekend and evening appointments!)
Consider, tho, the cost effectiveness. If you come in for 6-8 family counseling sessions at about $50 each (and I do offer a sliding scale), you may be preventing additional and higher costs down the line. Family counseling that helps families maintain recovery from addiction or prevent substance use could potentially mean that you will not be paying tens of thousands of dollars later for rehab or overdose recovery.
If you would like to know more about family counseling or talk to me about your specific situation, please feel free to call or email. Phone consultations are free, and I will offer a 50% discount for the first two sessions scheduled as a result of this promotion.
Article was written and sponsored by Resident in Counseling Madeline Vann, NCC, M.Ed. at White Cloud Therapeutic Services