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Families are excellent, but relationships can be challenging when reality sets in. Our family counselling guides you through issues related to your family and its relationships.

Family counselling and family therapy

Family counselling, also known as family therapy, is a form of treatment that focuses on family relationships. These relationships include parents, children, and other people connected to the family, such as bonus parents, step-children, or grandparents.

Family relationships change a lot over time, especially as children grow up. This dynamic time in life creates challenges. It can be helpful to talk to a family therapist or counsellor, as it is sometimes called.

The role of the family counsellor is to lead the conversation and allow everyone in the family to speak and share their perspectives on the problems. Common challenges in the family are that parents and children often speak ‘different languages’ and may not always be able to reach the point. Common communication difficulties revolve around the increasing use of cell phones and computers, which often take up attention and make it challenging to talk undisturbed.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

Our counsellors

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13 FAQs about Family Counselling

What is the purpose of family counselling?

Family counselling aims to help families improve communication, resolve conflict, and strengthen their relationships, promoting a healthy and supportive family environment.

When is it appropriate to seek family counselling?

Family counselling is appropriate when the family is experiencing conflict, communication problems or other challenges that affect their relationships and well-being. It can also be helpful during major changes such as separation, divorce or loss.

What types of problems can family counselling help with?

Family counselling can help with many problems,s including conflict. This could be communication difficulties between parents and children, challenges with teenagers, divorce issues, loss and grief, or other family-related challenges.

How long does a typical family counselling process take?

The length of a family counselling process varies depending on the specific needs and goals of the family. Some problems can be resolved relatively quickly while others require a longer time commitment.

What kind of methods and techniques are used in family counselling?

The therapist uses various methods to promote communication, conflict resolution, and understanding between family members. These may include role plays, exercises, and open discussions.

Can individual problems be addressed during family counselling?

Individual problems can be discussed and explored during family counselling, especially if they affect the whole family. The therapist can help find solutions and strategies that benefit the whole family. Sometimes, the therapeutic process can lead to individual therapy for individual family members. This need can be identified during the process. In consultation with the therapist, a decision will be made as to how this can best be achieved.

What happens if a family member is reluctant to participate in family counselling?

If a family member is reluctant to participate in family counselling, it is important to respect their feelings. The therapist can help explore possibilities and options to involve them in a comfortable way.

Can children be involved in family counselling?

Yes, children can be involved in family counselling, especially if their perspectives and feelings are relevant to the family’s challenges. The therapist will adapt methods and conversations appropriately based on the child’s age and maturity level.

How can the family continue to use the skills and strategies they have learned in therapy after the end of the process?

The therapist will advise and suggest how the family can implement the skills and strategies they have learned in therapy. To break old patterns, new regular exercises may be recommended. The therapist can also provide new tools or examples of a ‘new language’ where open communication with so-called ‘I’ statements between the family and the therapist is possible. ‘I’ statements between family members can be applied.

What if the family feels that the therapy is not working for them?

If the family feels that the therapy is not producing the desired results, it is important to communicate this with the therapist. If the family wants to change therapists or coaches at Lavendla, they can adjust the approach or suggest alternative strategies. Talk to us, and we will help you.

Can family counselling be helpful even if the family has no acute problems?

Absolutely, family counselling can help families to strengthen their relationships and prevent future conflicts. Promoting a healthy and supportive family environment can be a preventive measure.

How do I know if family counselling is right for my family?

Family counselling may be appropriate if you are experiencing challenges or conflicts that affect your family’s well-being and harmony. An initial consultation with a family counsellor can help you decide if this is the right step.

How much does family counselling at Lavendla cost?

At Lavendla, the price is set by the therapists and coaches. In family therapy, the sessions are usually longer as several people need to have the opportunity to be heard. You decide how much time is needed for each session and how many sessions are needed in consultation with the therapist. It may vary depending on how many family members are involved. The first meeting usually focuses on getting to know each other, defining your challenges, and planning how to work together to achieve your goals.

Family therapist, family therapist and family counsellor

Family counselling is led by a family therapist, also known as a family worker or family counsellor. The difference between these terms and titles is primarily linked to the person’s training.

The role of the family therapist is primarily to listen and lead the conversation so that everyone can give their views on the situation. When everyone has had a chance to speak, the family counsellor can ask questions to create greater understanding or get the family members to express their thoughts and feelings differently. It can be difficult for children to express their feelings.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

3 tips for family counselling from our counsellor

  1. See a counsellor when you have a problem with children – This is a false statement. When working with families, the child is never the ‘problem’. The adults are responsible for how the family lives together and how the family feels. Together with the therapist, you find out how the family members experience their everyday lives and what you can do to break the negative patterns that may have arisen within the family. The term problem child does not refer to children with various mental health diagnoses. The diagnosis may cause difficulties in the family’s daily life in these cases. This can also be a reason to see a family counsellor.
  2. Listen to each other – With a therapist, there is room to talk openly and honestly. The therapist will help you get to the point and be listened to. You will also be helped to become an ‘active listener’. It is easier said than done to hear what other people are saying. We all know that we sometimes ’embed’ our message. Maybe it is too embarrassing to express your innermost wishes. The therapist helps you to hear the subtle messages.
  3. Be honest – What should be so simple can be so difficult. What if all people were in touch with their will and opinions? However, this is not the case. It is difficult for many people to know what they want. Then you have to have the courage to express your wishes and opinions. There are many different kinds of obstacles here. Maybe the family has a kind of language or attitude towards each other that is not conducive to honesty. The therapist will support you to get in touch with the will and then be able to communicate it. All therapy is about being as honest as possible. If clients answer ‘right’ to questions just to be compliant, there is a so-called ‘as-if therapy’. ‘as-if therapy’. This does not get to the root of the difficulties. With honest answers, which may be uncomfortable, there is room to address the problems and find new strategies to make everyone feel better.

Written by samantha

Sr. Samantha Pieterse is a registered psychiatric nurse who is deeply committed to mental health and well-being. Samantha brings a unique and valuable perspective to her role as an editor for Lavendla South Africa. She has worked in Government and Private mental healthcare institutions in Gauteng and her expertise ensures that the articles on our website are accurate and accessible. Samantha is dedicated to enhancing mental health awareness and education in South Africa.