What is Family Counselling? 

Family counselling is psychological counselling that is conducted in a group consisting of family members. Its goal is to maintain or improve the relationships between family members by solving problems that the family might be experiencing.

Sessions provide a safe space for family members to express themselves and work through difficult thoughts and feelings. With the guidance of a counsellor, therapist, or psychologist, members of the family endeavour to understand one another and create better dynamics.  

How do we know if we need family counselling? 

Whether it is an internal struggle between members or an external problem putting strain on the unit, all families experience conflict at some point. Family counselling can help in many different types of situations that cause difficulty. 

Some of the more common issues that cause families to seek counselling include:

  • Problems with behaviour or emotions of children or teenagers
  • Frequent conflict or communication issues between family members
  • A death in the family, whether immediate or extended
  • Disease or disability of a family member
  • Mental health problems of a family member
  • Difficulties in parenting
  • Conflict between spouses
  • Financial strain
  • Adjustment to divorce or separation
  • Special family circumstances (such as blended families, step families, etc.)

The umbrella of problems that family counselling could help with is wide. A family could go to see a counsellor for virtually any significant problem to get some help with communication or even just processing feelings. 

What happens during a session of family counselling? 

Family counselling sessions usually last for about an hour and consist mostly of guided conversations led by the counsellor. 

Most especially during the initial sessions, your counsellor may ask a lot of questions. This helps them understand the situation better and makes everyone more comfortable.

A session does not necessarily involve the entire family. It may begin with one or two members, then others might join for later sessions when they feel ready. Sometimes a counsellor may propose conducting a session with certain members to deal with certain issues. 

Although sessions will look different depending on the reason the family sought help, counselling always aims to help the family. Some of the goals that a counsellor may want to help a family achieve could be:

  • Drawing up respectful boundaries
  • Developing healthy communication habits 
  • Doing away with negative behaviours
  • Fostering unity and supporting the goals of individual members
  • Learning to assess and manage problems as they arise
  • Coping with a new situation or major change
  • Finding solutions to a current problem

The overall goals of the counselling journey as well as the goal of each session are usually set by the counselor, with the support of everyone involved. Counselling is meant to help families in whatever way they might need it.  

Family counselling cost 

The cost per session of family counselling will usually be a bit more expensive than individual counselling. Depending on the counsellor, fees can be anywhere between $100 to $300 per session. 

Not all counselling services offer rebates with Medicare. It is best to ask the counsellor directly before starting sessions about the specifics of payment and coverage. 

The importance of family counselling

Not everyone is very excited about the idea of going for family counselling. Some may find it frightening or uncomfortable. Others may even be worried that going means accepting that the family is dysfunctional. 

However, family counselling as a form of healthcare has helped countless families. Many have become stronger as a unit and have overcome various problems with the help of counselling. 

We encourage you to contact us at [contact details] for our family counselling services if you feel that you might benefit from it. 

There is no shame in going for counselling, as every family experiences ups and downs. A little help can sometimes go a long way. While this help may look different for each family, it has taken the form of counselling for many.