- Dread going home at the end of the day? Do you find reasons to stay away?
- Recognize that sinking feeling when you pull up and see that your spouse is home?
- Are you more irritable with your loved ones than usual?
- Feeling isolated in your family? Does your home feel like a prison?
- Do you know what you want your family to feel like, but not sure how to get it there?
Family provides us with our first lessons in how to live and love. Our families can be both supportive and obnoxious. Regardless of how we experience them, though, our families are where we learn how to manage conflict, learn what kind of men/women to become, and what types of people to seek out as spouses.
Our families. . . where we learn how to express joy, compassion (empathy), anger, etc. This is also where we learn to manage conflict, how to problem solve, how to pick our spouse, and how to tie our shoes. Family counseling helps you to maintain a healthy balance that helps communication, support, and enjoyment of the family unit.
The importance of your formative years
I cannot overemphasize the importance of a calm, healthy family environment–whether or not there are children in the family. If there are children (of any age), then it is important to understand that how you as parents treat each other will teach your children how to treat you, themselves and their peers/boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. If there are no children involved, then a calm and healthy home will make the ride for each of you more enjoyable, and open to new experiences and deeper happiness and contentment.
I love you enough to feel safe hating you
The people in our families are usually the people who are closest to us (though, they don’t always feel so close). . . and by definition, they know us, and our hot-buttons/triggers better than most, and are able to press those buttons more easily. Add to this the fact that people tend to take out their most painful feelings and experiences on those closest to them…and, well, you get the idea…this usually winds up being your wife, husband, parents, kids, and so forth. And when we take it out on these people, it is very often because we TRUST them to be able to see beyond our hurtful words and to love us in spite of our sometimes difficult behavior or hurtful words.
Time for help
Sometimes though, things get to a point where damage to that trust has been done, and it needs to be rebuilt. Many of you already know what I am about to say . . . that it is easier said than done to repair the damage done to trust as it usually involves some trust to build on itself. This is where family counseling helps. It can be with your immediate family that you live with, or with your extended family who may live miles or even states away. What is important, is that new effective lines of communication are opened and used–the sooner you start, the sooner your family, large or small, can feel close again.
Learn more about Couples Counseling in Austin.
Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan is a Gottman-trained Couples Counselor, and in 1998 received training by the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.