Everybody’s got internal struggles.
Some of us have mental and emotional “stuff” that reflects our challenges.
A marriage is strained. Sibling drama makes harmony at home impossible. Or a teenager’s rebellion makes parenting a nightmare. You might even feel ignored or out of place in your own home.
Or sometimes what you’re going through is more quiet and subtle than all that.
A difficult childhood holds you back in life. You’re perpetually, unbearably sad. Or no one in your household shares feelings, interacts routinely, or knows how to connect at all.
When your thoughts and emotions feel out of control or continually negative, life loses its vibrancy. When your family is not operating well, what should be the most secure and nurturing place in the world feels disrupted and draining.
Unaddressed, the damage to you, relationships, and individual family members can be significant. Fortunately, counseling is an available and invaluable resource, able to provide relief, options, and real change, regardless of the circumstances.
Are you unsure whether you and yours really need professional support to manage your thoughts and behavior?
Consider these seven signs you or your family need counseling, then decide.
1. Daily life is impaired or impeded.
Are you functioning well? When your negative thoughts and behavior get in the way of your daily life, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on. If you’re always feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, anxious, or really low, don’t ignore what’s happening. You don’t have to wait until things are too bad to take. Seek help early on and feel better that much sooner.
2. You or your family member just can’t talk.
What do you do when there are no words? When you can’t explain what you’re feeling because it’s too painful or embarrassing, or shameful? Or perhaps you find the words you’re using have acted like land mines between you and loved ones, blowing up hope for reconciliations and reunions.
Communication is vital for a healthier, happier, connected life. Sometimes you have to start with an objective, experienced person, like a therapist, who can help you breakdown ineffective communication and rebuild communication strategies designed to help you and your family manage interactions in more fulfilling ways.
3. You or your family are stuck.
Do you push and push emotionally only to find you’re going nowhere? In any impasse, guidance and expertise are valuable. When you’ve tried everything you know to try, it’s always a good idea to call in some backup and trustworthy direction. It may be that you or your family just need counseling to learn a few tweaks to your thinking.
Whatever the situation, the gift of counseling assists in developing more awareness and an increased ability to relate in healthy ways.
4. Relationship drift, disappointment, or damage is defining your interactions.
Sometimes we have such high expectations of, or for, our relationships that we just can’t connect. Sometimes people let us down, betray us, abuse us. Sometimes we do the damage.
Individual or family counseling is an ideal way to identify, examine, and work out solutions to the patterns of miscommunication and any underlying, unresolved issues, erecting barriers between you and other people.
5. Something traumatic, tragic, or life changing happened or is happening now.
Suffering changes the way you think and behave. Whether you lash out or retreat inward, it’s necessary to process and accept what’s happened to you. Often we need help with that.
Individual and family counseling provides participants the time and space to move through life-altering moments or experiences feeling supported and more capable.
6. Your coping mechanisms do more harm than good.
How are you or your family members managing stress? What do you do, buy, or always have on hand? Many people cope with excesses or inappropriate behavior. Excessive smoking, drinking, eating, risk-taking? Leaning heavily on these things can soon create mental and physical health decline.
Counseling helps you find better ways to deal with the realities of your life. With help, you’ll learn to stop trying to numb the pain and deal with it capably.
7. Divorce recovery, family blending, or parenting struggles often necessitate support.
Upsets to home and family require intentional work for the best recovery. Our family is often regarded as our best chance at unconditional love and acceptance. Therapy sessions that process issues of trust, love, loyalty, respect and responsibility can go a long way in providing relief for everyone.
Counseling is a worthy time investment. Growth and awareness continue long after counseling sessions are complete. You also have the added benefit of knowing that therapy works. You never have to feel that you have to face dark days or tough periods alone.