Family counselling can help family members:
- Learn more about themselves and how their family functions
- Focus less on the member who has been identified as "ill" or as "having the problem" and more on the family's health/behavior as a whole
- Improve communication and interactions
- Learn skills for resolving conflict together
- Identify and build on each other's strengths
- Tolerate and work with each other's differences
- Understand one another more, build closeness and get along better.
For family counselling to be effective, adults, teenagers and even older children must take responsibility for their behavior. Some may need to change their behavior more than others. Not all family members must attend each session. I often see parents together, without their children, for example.
The number of sessions required varies depending on the severity of the problems, the identified treatment goals, and the willingness of family members to participate in therapy. If one member refuses to attend sessions, others can still benefit by attending.