An outside perspective can be invaluable for family problems that just aren’t getting resolved. But how do you know when it’s time to book an appointment with a professional counselor?
Watching for changes in family members and assessing those changes is key. When no usual tricks work and talking about it amongst family gets you nowhere, it’s time to make an appointment.
Like a wellness visit with a healthcare provider, a visit to a family counselor can help identify a family’s strengths and help them figure things out before the situation gets really bad, or prevent it from getting worse.
The first place to ask about family counseling is your primary care physician. You can even try asking friends for names of counselors even though initially it might seem embarrassing.
Look for licensed and certified counselors trained specifically for your issues, like marriage counseling or depression or trauma. State counseling boards can be good resources, as can insurance companies.
After you’ve found a good candidate, start by scheduling just a single visit. Just because they have the credentials doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for you. Try them out and commit when comfortable.
Signs that it’s time for professional help
- Violence or threats of violence between family members
- Drug and/or alcohol abuse
- Withdrawal from family life
- Persistent behavioral problems at school or home
- Recent trauma, such as death or divorce