The first and most important connection that most people have is family. Generally, these are the people who you grow up with and who raise you, and your family’s characteristics contribute much to the development of your personality. However, just like any kind of interpersonal relationship, families can also have their fair share of ups and downs.
There’ll be times that your family will be filled with conflict, unstable situations, and misunderstandings. That is normal, and that’s something that all families go through at one point. However, suppose the problems are left unresolved and become so big that they’re starting to ruin your family’s unity. In that case, it may be a sign that you’re dealing with something more serious than a typical misunderstanding.
In cases like these, you may want to seek out the assistance of a professional family counselor. The earlier you have your misunderstandings fixed, the greater chance that your family will be able to overcome these difficulties and reestablish a healthy, loving support system for everyone in the family. You can read more about how a family counselor can help you settle disputes between family members.
If your family shows one or more of the signs listed below, it’s time to consider seeking professional help and gather everyone for family counseling.
Does your family have serious conflicts every day? Does your family escalate small annoyances into serious, blowout fights? Does each of the family members tend to lose their patience quickly and treat each other as burdens or obstacles? In that case, your family may be dysfunctional.
A dysfunctional family tends to criticize each other more often instead of showing support. Parents tend to neglect their children, and children tend to disobey and rebel against their parents due to the hostility in the household. This, in turn, results in numerous fights and bickering between family members.
If your family is experiencing this, it may be time to seek family counseling. A counselor can help you settle fights without escalating further and without resorting to unkind methods. Furthermore, they’ll help you see your family not as a nuisance but as a blessing. Sometimes, it only takes appreciation and gratitude for a particular family to fix their problems and unite again.
2. Excessive Emotional Reactions
If any of your family members display excessive emotional reactions such as anger, sadness, or fear to relatively small triggers, this may be a sign that you’ll need family counseling. This mostly happens to parents who have pre-teens or teenagers in the household who are still in the middle of figuring out themselves and their emotions.
It’s understandable that your teenage child will meet various types of people in middle school, which can affect their character and personality. Aside from family, the school environment is one of the most influential factors for a developing child. If you’ve noticed your child acting out or acting unusually as compared to their typical behavior or personality, it may be that something is bothering them in school. It could be a bully, peer pressure, or the fear of failing in academics.
Counselors can help you identify the underlying issues that are causing your child to behave that way. Whether it’s because of family issues or school issues, the counselor will help both the parents and the child voice their concerns to better reconnect family members.
3. Seclusion and Depression
If you notice that one or more of your family members are withdrawing themselves from the family and often lock themselves in their room than socializing with you or their friends, that can be a sign of a major problem.
Oftentimes, when a person secludes themself away from the people they used to hang out with, they may be suffering from mental illnesses such as depression. Another reason for the person’s sudden seclusion is due to abuse or bullying that the family is not aware of. Other signs can be increased irritability and impatience with others, sudden mood swings, changes in behavior that are incongruent with their typical personality, and changes in appetite.
Regardless of the reason, a family counselor can help you open up with each other and settle the issue by finding the root cause for the person’s sudden change of behavior.
One of the most alarming signs that you should be wary of is when one or more of your family members are now resorting to violence and physical abuse. Have you seen your parents have a big fight one night and end up physically hurting each other, or one hits the other? Or perhaps a family member is destroying objects around the house, typically objects that belong to the object of their ire rather than just an object. These are red flags that indicate some kind of intervention is required as soon as possible.
It’s important to note that abuse isn’t limited to physical abuse. It can also be through emotional, psychological, sexual, or legal abuse. Regardless of which form of violence you’re currently experiencing with your family, you should reach out to a counselor for guidance and support. If you are experiencing an urgent crisis situation, call emergency services or your local crisis center for assistance and protection.
If you’re currently affected by familial abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and support right away. If you are having a difficult time accessing resources in your home because of an abusive family member, ask your friends, and loved ones for help finding resources to help remove you from your situation.
5. Substance Abuse
Is there anyone in your family that is struggling with their alcohol or drug intake? Often, when a person is an addict, it can create a major family problem. The person is either more prone to uncontrollable emotions, aggressive behavior, and deep resentment against their family.
Through family counseling, it’s not only the struggling individual going through counseling but also the entire family. A counselor can help you better understand the situation that your family member is going through. Moreover, they’ll also help you create a step-by-step solution to this problem by providing your loved one with the support and tools they need to overcome addiction.
All family members need to realize that when you go through family counseling, it means that your family is highly valued. The fact that you all are willing to go through therapy only means that all of you want to work things out in a better and peaceful way. Yes, the process can be challenging and confusing at first, but the reward you’ll soon reap is priceless.
Always keep in mind that family conflicts and misunderstandings are normal, but be sure that all of you will communicate compassionately to fix any problems as soon as possible.