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funkdaddy's avatar

Counseling resources for family members?

Asked by funkdaddy (17765points) October 17th, 2008

I apologize in advance for the vague wording.

I have a family member going through some tough times and my family’s focus for the past few months has been getting them through those times. It’s going to be a long haul.

Some of my family have expressed interest in getting some sort of advice on how they should handle the situation and deal with the emotions and new realities themselves. They’re wonderful, intelligent, caring people but they simply have been exposed to things recently they never thought they’d deal with and probably never considered. We’re all well outside our areas of expertise.

I’d love to help them. What are some possible avenues to look into? My initial thought was some sort of support group but finding one that fits is difficult and in looking into some of the “close” ones we were turned off by the blanket advice that seems to be aimed towards steeling a family against the worst scenarios. More than support or general advice they’ve expressed an interest in facts along with expert advice specific to the situation if possible.

So my questions…

Are there counselors or therapists that specialize in helping family members? How would I go about finding one?

Has anyone been a part of a support group for families? Was it beneficial, and if so what did you feel you got out of it?

Are there other possibilities I should look into?

I understand some specifics would help. I’m just not that comfortable putting someone else’s particulars out for all to see.

Thanks for your help.

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7 Answers

basp's avatar

Funkdaddy
There are counselors who specialize in family couseling. Choosing the right counselor can be difficult and depending
on the financial situation, it can
also be very discouraging.

The age of the person your
family is focusing on might be
a compass to use when finding
help. My suggestion is that
you start by calling your local
children’s services(if the
person of concern is a child)
or adult devices (if the person
of concern is an adult). They
should be able to provide a
comphrensive list of what is
available in your area and a
vague idea of how different
agencies charge.

I have not personally found
counseling to be effective in
my life situations. But I don’t
mean to discourage you. I am
just trying to answer your
question honestly. Just
because it isn’t my thing does
not mean that it can’t help.
Many people benefit greatly by
counseling.

Other possibilities I would consider would be to eliminate
other stress so the focus can
be on this individual. I don’t
know the details but an example might be if there is a
sick person in the house that
needs constant care, accepting servicesvto assist with that care, respite, housecleaning services….this types of thing might help to relieve the stress on the family so they can better deal with the issues. Many of those services are offered free or nearly free and you can find that information through local government. Most departments have an information and referral number. They will be able to help you.

jsc3791's avatar

Does your employer offer any EAP? (Employee Assistance Programs)

I work for a large company and these benefits are provided to any employee or their family for free.

Our program is voluntary, free and confidential. It offers problem identification, counseling and referral services. Counselors provide support and guidance for a broad range of needs, including family and relationship issues, alcohol and drug abuse, emotional problems, stress-related problems, conflicts at work or home, parenting issues, and other personal problems.

Does anyone in your family have access to such a program at their place of employment?

Good luck with everything.

jca's avatar

Another resource might be a local mental health facility, such as a psychiatric hospital, community health center (clinic), or County Medical Center. they might have therapy on a sliding scale.

jvgr's avatar

Are there counselors or therapists that specialize in helping family members? How would I go about finding one?

-As mentioned most counselors/therapists offer family help.
The key is to find a counselor/therapist that tends to work with people who have a similar condition. A family doctor should have some names.

Has anyone been a part of a support group for families? Was it beneficial, and if so what did you feel you got out of it?

-I haven’t, but I have close friends who were. They got a great deal out of it because they learned more about the condition and learned how to cope and provide support without enabling.

Are there other possibilities I should look into?
Other than a family doctor suggesting counselors/therapists, a local branch of the Mental Health Association is usually aware of community resources.

Doing a google search (I succeeded in this one time) substittuting your own information for <condition “support group” municipality>

I understand some specifics would help. I’m just not that comfortable putting someone else’s particulars out for all to see

Would anyone actually know who you are talking about if you did provide a bit more detail?

nikipedia's avatar

I would start with your insurance company and primary care physician: they should be able to give you a solid referral or two.

And whatever is going on, I hope it is not too serious and your family makes it through okay.

funkdaddy's avatar

Thank you all for the ideas and I’ll look into them, there are several here I hadn’t thought of. I genuinely appreciate the time.

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