Conflict is inevitable, even in the healthiest families. In times of struggle, counseling can provide families with a safe environment to express feelings, learn communication skills, and build stronger connections. While family counseling offers so many benefits, some families face obstacles that can ultimately prevent them from seeking help. Here are the top three reasons why families avoid counseling.

Reason #1: “Family counseling doesn’t work”

The fear that counseling will not work is one of the greatest barriers for families. If you’re purchasing an important item online, it is easy to find tangible reviews to learn about performance, value, and satisfaction. With counseling, it is not that simple.  Counseling is such a nuanced and personal experience, and you cannot rely on others to tell you the exact results your family will achieve. The only way to know if counseling will work is to try it for yourselves and to remember that family counseling can be an extremely rewarding experience if your family is willing to put in the effort. This leads us to the next barrier for many families – believing that counseling isn’t worth it.

Reason #2: “Family counseling isn’t worth it”

A common concern for families is whether counseling is worth the time, money, and effort it takes to see results. Often times, counseling can seem like a lot of work in a society drawn to quick fixes with minimal effort. When weighing the value of counseling, it is important to consider how much it will cost your family to remain stuck in negative patterns. In all likelihood, the cost is very high. Counseling is an invaluable tool for growth and healing, but counseling does not work overnight. Families need to be dedicated to change and willing to invest in the process, but the payoff is a healthy, thriving family unit. For some families, the thought of the time commitment required for counseling has proven to be a barrier as well.

Reason #3: “We don’t have time for family counseling”

Between jobs, sports practice, play rehearsal, guitar lessons, and everything else, you may feel like there is no time to add anything else to your family’s schedule. While counseling does require a time commitment, family counseling typically only requires one-hour sessions once a week in the beginning. From there, sessions eventually become less frequent as issues are resolved and the health of your family is improved. It may be difficult to coordinate schedules and find an hour to meet together with a therapist, but it is not impossible. Many counseling centers offer flexible hours after school or on the weekend to accommodate the needs of most families. Once you find a therapist that fits your schedule, consistency is the key to seeing tangible changes in your family.

Finding Help for Your Family

You don’t have to wait until a crisis to seek the help of a family therapist. If your family is struggling with open communication, a loss in the family, a job transition or relocation, the mental or physical health of a family member, or any other concerns, now is the time to connect with a caring therapist who will help you walk through it. Contact LifeStance Health to set up an appointment and take the first step towards health and healing for your family.