Family counselling approaches the systems of interactions (relations) established between members, the way family life is organized and carried out, all these processes having as result to maintain a balance (homeostasis), this meaning to protect the existence of the family. Family relations play a key role in the emotional health of each individual and influence the perpetuation of relational patterns between generations, also influencing the couple and family life of successors.
Families are often confronted with challenges, given the individual differences between members, prolonged stress, conflicts, pain or situations individuals are facing. Families seek therapy whenever experiencing distress (linked to family life cycle stages; imminence of divorce or separation; a medical condition or passing away of a loved one; conflicts between parents-children; difficulties related to schooling or workplace, psychosexual dissatisfaction; one or several family members develop symptoms – depression, anxiety, psychosis, addiction, ADHD; eating disorders).
The purpose of family counselling is to obtain multiple perspectives on the situations individuals face in their families and to work to improve relations, by encouraging direct communication, display of empathy, accepting individual differences, expressing and understanding needs and expectations, ensuring reciprocal support to maintain the useful changes in their lives.
Specifically, therapy may help families to: better understand how they function as a unit; to identify resources but also areas in which relations could be consolidated; to improve the strategies they use to solve problems and manage conflicts; to consolidate the family or ensure a healthy separation (of adult children from parents or couple dissolution, be it the case).
The intervention has a variable duration, however, on average it implies between 12-24 sessions.