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Family Counselling


No families are stable, healthy and happy all the time. The stresses of modern life, the need for better work-life balance, a family crisis of one kind or another or mental health challenges for one or more family members can bring a family to its knees at any time. Many families have built-in resiliency to many of these problems. But even the best families can feel a need for help beyond the family's own resources.


Do we need counselling?

Think of family counselling as adding some tools to your family's relationship toolbox. You can learn new ways to communicate, to work through problems, to discipline and to relate to one another. Some common issues are:


  • Balancing discipline and love

  • Providing structure and maintaining boundaries

  • School related issues (grades falling, bullying, self esteem etc.)

  • Temper Tantrums for all ages

  • Arguing, fighting etc.

  • Adolescent attitude issues

  • Single parent household issues,

  • Step-families

  • Divorce


How does it work?

In Family Counselling we focus on the family as a whole. Problems with one family member may be an indicator of a larger family problem. And treating only the person with the problem is akin to treating the symptoms of a disease without addressing the disease itself. Family therapy is more solution-focused than individual therapy, and is generally shorter and more specific, with defined end goals.


I am trained and experienced in observing the interactional patterns of the family and together we will examine the structure of the family to get a clear picture of how your family is organized. This involves exploring the boundaries in your family, which are artificial lines that indicates limits in a family.Another important focus point is the communication patterns as well as stability and change. How stable is your family in terms of life cycle transitions? How do you handle change?


Furthermore we will identify the different roles of the family? Roles are functions performed by someone in a familiar situation. Roles are expressed through interaction with other family members. Similar to rules, roles can be healthy or unhealthy. They can facilitate family functioning or hinder it.


Next we will look at the rituals in your family. These are the customs that help to establish a family identity and continue the family customs. In connection to ritual we will also talk about the rules in your family. Rules are the stated and unstated guidelines for the way a family function. These become established through repetition.


Finally we will talk about the hierarchy in your family? This is an important focus because hierarchies are the ordered subsystems within a family. They are defined by tasks and functions. For example, parents usually are at the top of the hierarchy and hold most of the responsibility for family members' well being.


Contact me if you feel out of control and caught up in to many power struggles or read one of my articles on the family issues here.


Bettina Hemmingsen

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