Come From A Dysfunctional Family?: How Mental Health Counseling Services Can Teach You Better Familial Interactions

Health & Medical Blog

There are many ways that families can be dysfunctional. In some families there is a history of some type of abuse that continues to cycle through the generations. In others, the inability to effectively communicate causes a lot of problems. The different ways that people learn to cope or not cope with stress factors can also play a part in dysfunctional homes. If any of these situations apply to you and you want to change your own behaviors or your past for the better, here is how mental health counseling services can help.

Treating Issues with Communication

First and foremost, your therapist will want to know how and how well you communicate. He or she can get a good idea about your communication skills from the first few sessions that you have with him or her. Then your therapist will want to meet with various members of your family. This may include your parents or your spouse and then any siblings or children you have. The steps taken to improve communication in your family are gradual and rooting out the problems may require that your family members return for future visits.

You will learn to speak in a manner that is direct, but also encourages you to use "I" statements instead of "you" statements. (The "I" statements force you to say what you think and feel, while the "you" statements often come across as accusatory or inflammatory.) Other techniques may be used, but these are the most common.

Treating Issues Resulting from Abuse

Dysfunctional family issues involving abuse must first address the healing process for the abused before addressing the issues with the abuser or any accomplices of the abuser. Once your therapist feels that you have talked thru the abuse and worked your way through the feelings attached to the abuse, he or she may suggest inviting one or more of the persons responsible to your sessions.

This type of "exposure therapy" is supposed to help you confront the abusers and empower you, while also helping you deal with unresolved issues between you and the abusers. In going through this kind of mental health counseling, you can stop the generational cycle before it goes any further.

Treating Issues Resulting from Coping Behaviors

There are some coping mechanisms that work well and some that are quite dysfunctional. When you recognize that the patterns of dysfunctional behavior in your home are the result of learning improper coping mechanisms, your therapist can help you unlearn those behaviors and learn better, healthier coping strategies.

These new behaviors, when substituted for the old ones, will require a lot of effort and practice on your part. Since the old coping behaviors were habit, it will take time for the new ones to replace them, but your therapist can show you how.

Contact a local therapist, such as Dr Jed Turnbull, for more information about how therapy can enable you to improve your family relationships.


10 February 2016

Help Others Make Health Decisions when They Cannot

One day I was playing a game of basketball with a friend, and the friend I was playing ball with tripped and took a hard fall to the ground. He hit his head hard, but he insisted he was okay and just wanted to go home and take a nap. I knew in my heart that he was not thinking clearly, and I didn't feel right letting him go home. I talked him into letting me take him to the hospital, and after some tests, it was determined he had a bad concussion. The doctors told me that if I had let him go home and sleep, things could have taken a turn for the worse. I created this blog to remind everyone to look out for each other after injuries. Not everyone thinks clearly after a head injury, and just being a good friend could save a life.