This month we wanted to focus on the importance of maintaining a healthy family environment. It is no secret that having a stable family dynamic contributes to the happiness of everyone involved, but its significance in the long term is rarely recognized. The actions, habits and examples demonstrated by each family member can have an effect not only on present circumstances but on future mental and physical wellness.
We have all heard the phrase that “a child’s mind is like a sponge” and that they are likely to take in a lot of information at a very young age. The proof of this concept is extensive and the way in which a family faces stress, anxiety, troubling times, happiness, sadness, etc. can plant a seed in children that will significantly impact how they act and react in their adult lives.
So how can you take steps to make sure you are doing your best at creating a healthy, safe and productive environment for your family? We understand that it can be hard to determine when an issue needs addressed with professional therapy, so we have pulled some of the more common concerns that could benefit from counseling, and touched on some of those details in hopes of helping you navigate a path to a healthier and happier family.
- Financial Hardship
Financial hardship places a severe weight on many families. When people are unable to function normally or provide for others there is an unavoidable tension that develops. It can become easy to point fingers and become angry. The stress and anxiety that mounts on top of these situations can cause extended turmoil and friction between family members.
This unbalanced activity can leave children feeling pressure or negative effects which can be unhealthy for their development. If you are experiencing financial hardship that is causing extensive anger, anxiety or unrest in your personal and family life, it would be good to reach out to a professional therapist to help manage those emotions and prioritize the proper solutions. It is important to remember that many people suffer from the same difficulties when it comes to managing finances and it is okay to reach out for assistance.
As we discussed in last month’s blog post, grieving is a difficult process for many people to navigate. What is even more challenging is how the outcomes of that grief can affect the people that are closest to you, including family members. Grief can change the way that people interact with one another. Many people seem to retreat from their usual ways of living, speaking and loving; and those changes can be hard for others to comprehend.
Perhaps you are not the one grieving and you simply recognize a shift in another family member’s mood, or notice that they are struggling. Of course, you should always encourage open communication between one another and see if you can possibly provide the appropriate support to address this grief. However, if that seems to become difficult to achieve it may be time for a professional therapist to step in and assist in the healing process.
- Substance Abuse
Substance abuse can be incredibly unsafe in a home especially if the user is also the caretaker in the situation. If you or a loved one seems to be struggling with this we would suggest immediate action to ensure that no one is hurt and that the issue is addressed without delay. Drug and Alcohol use has proven to be a dangerous downward spiral for many people, which in its worse cases can become deadly. It is due to this heightened danger that we suggest taking such urgent action.
We understand that it can be intimidating to come forward with issues such as these for fear of judgement or criticism. At Cornerstone Counseling we will be sure to provide you the support and guidance that you need without that negative energy. It is okay to admit fault in some things, we are here to help you heal.
- Behavioral Issues
One of the challenges that many families face is determining whether a behavioral issue is normal or if it is severe enough to seek some form of professional help. Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Bipolar Disorder, and Anger Management are among the most common behavioral complexities. If you notice yourself, or any other family member frequently acting out; and if you have been unsuccessful in implementing your own treatment options to manage these behavioral shifts, it is likely time to reach out to a professional therapist. At Cornerstone we are well equipped to address, manage and treat these behavioral conditions and with our help we can contribute to a more balanced family atmosphere.
The separation of parents is likely one of the most severe changes that a family can experience. There are many valid reasons for this action to be taken, and there are many examples of successful separations and divorces. At Cornerstone we believe that the key to ensuring that this transition is as smooth as possible would be to consult with professional therapy services throughout the process.
In these scenarios, you will either recognize sincere stress or anxiety on family members as a result of these divisions or you may notice a retreat from any significant emotional reaction. Both should be addressed and managed with care since the family circumstances will have shifted so drastically throughout this process.
It is often and impulse reaction to attempt to handle these things internally, but with so many other adjustments to life occurring at the same time it can be helpful to bring in a third party to help manage the stress. These situations are hard on everyone, and it will only be harder on you if you burden yourself with managing everything at once. We are here to help make this transition easier and ensure that everyone comes out of this process healthy and happy.
For any questions, or for more information on our family therapy options- please give us a call today 513-889-5880.