Counseling is a service that The Lighthouse provides so that you can discuss personal problems that might be getting in the way of your personal success. Sometimes the goal of counseling is to explore possible ways to deal with a situation or problem. Sometimes counseling may give you added perspective into any underlying causes of the situations or problems. It is not unusual for
things that happen in your life to be accompanied by strong emotions, both positive and
negative. You may find yourself in situations where solutions don’t look easily available. You may need to establish healthy relationships, develop an identity independent from your family, manage the expected and unexpected disappointments of life, live through losses: these are realities that people face every day. Counseling may not be able to solve every problem or provide every answer, but it can offer you support and different resources as you live and cope with the discomfort of
dealing with challenges.
How do I know if I need counseling?
You might need counseling if:
1. the problems and situations in your life exceed your ability to cope with them and
2. the resources you are aware of, and have access to, are not enough to help you reestablish
balance without the help of a professionally trained counselor.
The events and feelings that bring you to counseling don’t necessarily have to be a matter
of life or death, although those kinds of situations are also appropriate for counseling.
Sometimes counseling can help when you are experiencing certain life events for the first
time. A counselor may be able to offer you additional perspective, especially if your friends and family have little or no experience in similar situations. There are other times when the people that we usually rely on for emotional support are too close to the situation to stay objective. Meeting with a counselor to discuss your situation may actually help you decide if counseling would be
Family counseling is a type of therapy that may have one or more objectives. Family counseling may help to promote better relationships and understanding within a family. It may be incident specific, as for example family counseling during a divorce, or the approaching death of a family member. Alternatively, family counseling may address the needs of the family when one family member suffers from a mental or physical illness that alters his or her behavior or habits in negative ways.
Family counseling often occurs with all members of the family unit present. This may not always be the case. A family member who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction might not attend sessions, and might actually be the reason why other family members seek out family counseling.
Part of the goal of the therapist is to observe interactions between family members. Another part is to observe the perception of non-interacting family members. Thus if two family members get into an argument in a session, the therapist might want to know how the other family members are dealing with the disagreement or the way in which the two fighting members comport themselves.
In addition to observation, the therapist often helps the family reflect on better ways of communicating with each other. So family counseling may in part be instruction and encouragement. In fact, family counseling often teaches family members new and more positive ways to communicate to replace old, negative communication patterns.
Observations may also be used to point out how poor communication, especially when particularly filled with strife, affects the behavior and happiness of children. Children benefit from the safe forum of a session. They may get to for discuss the things they don’t like about behavior of caregivers and/or siblings. Such discussion might not be permitted in the home setting.
The therapist also acts as moderator in family counseling. He or she attempts to ensure that each family member gets fair time for expressing concerns and contributing to the conversation as to how the family can do better. Sometimes the therapist may identify one or more family members who need more than the family counseling model, and might benefit from individual counseling. The personal issues of one member of a family may affect all other family members.