As a psychologist and counselor in Cary, Illinois, I find that there can be up to 22 warning signs that indicate your family is in trouble and in dire need of counseling.
First, what are the signs?
1. Frequent conflict among parents and siblings.
2. A family that models dysfunctional communication through constant quarreling and argumentativeness.
3. Excessive feelings of panic and anger because family members are frequently meddling into each others lives.
4. Preoccupied with the need to conceal things from each other.
5. Feeling battered by constant criticism from one or more family members.
6. Not receiving support or reassurance from each other before taking action or making an important decision.
7. Pre-occupation with fear of certain siblings or a parent coming home because of the quarrels that would break-out.
8. One or more siblings is desperate to leave home before the end of high school.
9. When one or more relationships in the family involve physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
10. Painful avoidance of disagreeing with others because of the fear of triggering rage.
11. Not having friends or associates visit because of the dread of being embarrassed by your familys behavior.
12. An attitude saturated with dread, conflict and not wanting to be home.
13. Freezing-out of certain family members to demonstrate disapproval or mete-out punishment.
14. The trivialization or belittling of ones opinion or viewpoint by certain family members.
15. Disapproval is constantly expressed by others when doing things for oneself.
16. Demands that one feel an excessive sense of responsibility for a family member who should be developing his own autonomy and self-sufficiency.
17. Frequent violation of your physical, spatial or emotional boundaries.
18. Frequent interference by parents or siblings when one makes legitimate decisions.
19. Frequent bickering, quarreling or calls to police about family disputes.
20. Inappropriate blocking of one family member from leaving home to develop own life.
21. A family environment saturated with chronic blaming and the expression of disapproval with ones activities or achievements.
22. Difficulty in asserting or sticking up for self with parents or siblings because of fear, trepidation and anxiety.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it would behoove you and other family members to seek therapy or counseling.
But what will your counseling accomplish? How will it benefit you?
1. You will learn how to have conversations with family members that are controlled, mutual and respectful.
2. You will be able to implement effective coping skills to neutralize family conflict rather than exacerbate it.
3. You will be able to achieve a healthy balance between your own autonomy and independence and living with the collective needs of the family unit.
4. You will be able to reduce the dependence on family members and, if of age, eill learn how to arrange for ones independent living.
5. You will be able to establish and clarify firm boundaries with siblings and protest appropriately when they are violated.
6. You will be able to decrease the level of present conflict and quarreling with parents while beginning to let go of past conflicts with them.
7. You will be able to break away cleanly from any dysfunctional or abusive communication during family conflicts.
8. You will be able to eliminate any of your abuse of mind-altering substances
9. You will be able to implement relaxation training in order to become more assertive and firm with siblings, spouse or parents.
10. You will be able to significantly replace the resentment and anger which has saturated your thinking about certain family members with detachment.
11. You will start seeing your future as an independent person as hopeful and not be pre-occupied about the loss of sibling, spouse or parental approval.
12. You will be able to increasingly ask for what you want and say No to what you do not want with reduced family conflict.
13. You will start feeling a reduction in needing to get your siblings, parents or spouses approval. You will be able to use relaxation and positive imagery to reduce any pervasive anxiety related to pleasing others in your family unit.
14. You will be able to identify and reduce any situations that trigger family quarreling or arguments.
15. You should be able to approach previously intimidating situations with spouse or parents with less fear and more confidence.
16. You should have a thorough understanding of the results of living in a dysfunctional relationship or family and be able to identify the signs of dysfunction in future relationships.
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert marriage counselor and psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt or learn more about counseling at: http://www.nextdayappointment.com