Frequently Asked Questions About Family Counseling For Everyone

I grew up hearing people tell me that they wished to live as I did, even just for a day.

It confused me at first, but in the end, I thought, “How could I blame them?”

For one, Calabasas had been my stomping grounds for as long as I could remember. I lived in the same gated community where many A-list Hollywood celebrities lived. Though everyone complained about the Great Depression when I was in high school, it did not affect my family. My parents – both of them – were celebrated surgeons, and their combined salaries were enough to buy three more mansions in the area. I never had to ride a bus to and from school either, considering I had a personal car and driver.

Nevertheless, what people seemed to overlook was that we were Asians. Mom and Dad were both in the US, but their parents were first-generation immigrants who continued to follow Asian traditions even on American soil.

I loved telling people about my heritage; I’m honestly proud of having ancestors who fought in those great wars and died as heroes. However, if there was one thing that I was not proud of, it was the fact that many Asian parents tend to value their social status more than their true feelings sometimes.

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Breaking The Picture-Perfect Idea

For instance, my oldest sister, Sia, got pregnant in her second year at UCLA. She was supposed to follow my parents’ footsteps and be the best doctor in California, but those plans went kaput as soon as she decided to marry her boyfriend and become a housewife.

My parents wanted to disown my sister when they learned about her pregnancy, of course. They kept berating her about how slutty she was for being unable to wait until after college to get married. However, to avoid any scandal, they threw a lavish wedding for my sister and pretended like they loved my brother-in-law.

In another circumstance, my father got caught with another woman one time. Mom was livid about it for weeks. She said, “What would our friends think once they found out about this?” I thought they would get divorced at that time, but Mom resolved that they would stick together no matter what.

However, what genuinely disturbed me and pushed me to drag all my family members to counseling was when my parents decided to sleep in bedrooms. In their hunger for a picture-perfect family, they’d rather stay in a loveless marriage instead of splitting up. I could not stand that, so I made an appointment for all of us.

Here are some things you may want to know about family counseling.

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What does a family Counsellor do? 

 A family counselor helps family members dispute with each other as they encourage the latter to communicate better and lay out their issues. That way, they can reach an agreement and reconcile.

Can you get family Counselling on the NHS? 

 Yes, you can get family counseling on the NHS. It is one of the various types of counseling that they offer. More importantly, you need not ask for a referral from your psychologist or psychiatrist before availing of their services.

What is family therapy, and what are its goals and benefits? 

 Family therapy is a type of treatment that parents, children, and other relatives tend to sign up for when they have issues that they cannot talk about without fighting or yelling. Family therapy’s primary goal is to end any dispute that causes a family to divide or fall apart. The therapist also helps the family members improve their communication skills to not fight about the same things.

One of the benefits of family therapy is that everyone realizes the meaning of healthy boundaries and family dynamics. Sometimes, that gets lost in some people, assuming that what they are doing is acceptable because they all live under one roof.

Family therapy is ideal for individuals to develop a more profound sense of empathy towards their relatives. The more you understand your loved ones, the more you will think twice before throwing hurtful comments towards them.

How much does an MFT charge per hour? 

 A novice marriage and family therapist (MFT) may charge up to $70 per hour. As they gain more years of experience, though, their rate can become $250 per hour.

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What is the difference between therapy and counseling? 

 Counseling is a short-term approach to help individuals deal with their current issues. For instance, when a couple fights because of a third party or your partner died, you need counseling to resolve your issues and know how to move on from the situation.

Meanwhile, therapy is a long-term approach that helps folks with deep-seated issues. This is useful if someone deals with childhood trauma, abuse, depression, anxiety, and other problems that cannot go away after a session or two.

Which Counselling approach is best? 

 Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the best approaches that psychologists and psychiatrists recommend to their patients. As the name implies, it recognizes how a person’s way of thinking affects their actions. Then, the therapist helps the patient recalibrate their thoughts to alter their behavior for the better.

Can Counselling be harmful? 

 Yes, counseling can technically be harmful, especially if the counselor you end up talking to does not have the proper training to offer to counsel. If you want to get this kind of help, it may be best to go straight to a psychologist instead of talking to anyone who poses as a counselor.

Why is it not good to have two therapists? 

 You cannot have two therapists because they follow different techniques and beliefs while treating a patient. That is true even when they ideally graduated from the same universities and received the same certifications. One may go left, while the other may go right.

It results in you getting confused or mixing up whatever the therapists have said. Instead of finding clarity and resolving your issues, you may end up dealing with more problems that were not there before you decided to see two therapists.

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How do I choose a counselor? 

 When you are looking for a counselor, the first thing you must ask yourself is, “How comfortable am I to talk to this person?” Your friends and family can recommend anyone and say they are the best, but if you do not feel some kind of connection with the counselor, you need to look for another.

You should also look at the counselor’s success rate and certifications. If they have more positive reviews than negative ones, it must mean that they are competent. 

What credentials should I look for in a therapist?

The therapist’s level of education is the primary credential that you need to look for. A bachelor’s degree in counseling or psychology does not suffice to call someone a therapist. You can only do that once they have a master’s or doctoral degree, as well as a license to conduct therapy.

Furthermore, it would be nice if the license is related to the kind of therapy they offer. For instance, if it’s marriage and family therapy, you should go to a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT).

Comparing Life Before And After Family Counseling

Despite the affluence that my parents gave me, I was unhappy before the family counseling. In my head, I would rather be a product of divorce than a product of two individuals who already grew apart.

To everyone’s surprise, though, Mom and Dad opened up about their reservations, fears, and disappointments. It was a long and tearful process, and we were nowhere near done with it. I was cool with that as long as it meant that I could feel lucky to belong in this family anytime.