A family is comprised of individuals with different perspectives, personalities and priorities. Handling the challenges of daily life can be difficult enough, but when a family member has been diagnosed with HIV, is coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community or is struggling to support someone dealing with substance abuse, the difficulty becomes impossible to handle alone.
Family counseling provides families with the tools and strategies they need to support each other and work as a unit to overcome challenges and make the right decisions for the family’s best interests.
Counseling Helps Families Understand
Not every family is aware of the issues surrounding transgender identity, of how difficult it can be for a child to express to their parents that they feel they should be a different gender. Parents aren’t given handbooks for how to approach supporting their lesbian daughter or their gay son. Misconceptions can lead to a family falling apart unless they’re addressed and the emotional needs of the entire family met.
Counseling brings in an objective, compassionate professional who can answer questions and provide a sounding board for family members. Having an external mediator lets parents express concerns, children explain their feelings, and provides the family with someone who can help them talk through their issues.
Counseling Helps Families Cope
If a family member has been diagnosed as HIV-positive, this impacts the entire family unit. Parents worry about their children, siblings worry about each other and there are dozens of questions that a doctor may not have time to answer. A family counselor can help families cope with the changing lifestyle that an HIV-positive diagnosis can cause.
Having a resource for the family to consult when questions or conflicts arise has proven to not only improve the family’s communication but reduces the rejection and associated issues that often accompany someone coming out or suffering a diagnosis.