People are products of their context and environment. A person’s behaviour is powerfully influenced by their interactions with others around them.
The role of the counsellor in working with families is to work collaboratively with each family member to help them understand the dynamics that exist within the family and show how each member interacts and relates to the other. As family therapist, the counsellor focuses on the process of communication, working with the individual family members to raise their level of self-awareness of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours and how these impact the other members of the family.
All families experience difficulties at one time or another, most commonly problems develop at transitions in the life cycle where the family can become stuck in transition from one developmental stage to another. Fear of transition is a common experience for many people, and as individuals within a family progress through the stages of life the family must re-organise to accommodate and adapt to the growth and changes of its individual members.
In attending counselling and family therapy, family members experience an emotionally safe place where they can feel secure enough to lower their guard and discuss even the most threatening of issues. An accepting and non-judgmental counselling environment provides family members with the opportunity to honestly confront issues, express their needs, and bring about positive change in a supported way.