Family is an important part of life for most people, thus, our family dynamics, family environment and interactions can have a huge impact on our mental health. Sometimes, certain issues can impact not only an individual but the family as a whole (for example- the loss of a loved one, financial stress, etc.). That’s where family counselling can help.

In simple words, family counselling focuses on helping families resolve issues that affect their mental health and functioning. It is a collaborative process where families meet a trained family counsellor who helps them navigate through challenges and conflicts. 

The family counsellor creates a safe and supportive environment for family members to explore their dynamics, communication patterns, and unresolved issues. The larger aim of family counselling is to improve relationships among family members and help them create a positive family environment.

What Happens In Family Counselling?

Family counselling is a structured process involving various steps. Let’s understand it in depth

  • Initial Assessment

The family counselling process generally begins with an initial assessment where the counsellor gets to know the family members, their concerns, and their expectations for counselling. The counsellor might give each member some time to express their issue and understand their perspective. The counsellor might also ask family members questions about family history, family dynamics, coping strategies, etc.

  • Goal Setting

After the initial assessment, the counsellor collaborates with family members to set goals that they want to achieve from the process. A few examples of goals are- improving communication among family members, reducing conflict, creating a positive family environment, etc.

  • Exploring Family Dynamics

The counsellor might take some time to observe the interactions between family members and look for potentially negative patterns of interactions that could be leading to underlying issues. Understanding these patterns is crucial to developing a treatment plan.

  • Creating A Treatment Plan

The counsellor will collaborate with the family members to develop strategies and skills to address the issues that were identified in the previous sessions. This may include communication skills such as active listening, etc or other skills such as setting appropriate boundaries, etc. The counsellor may also use techniques such as role plays to help family members open up to each other.

  • Implementing Tools And Techniques

Over the next few sessions, the counsellor might encourage family members to implement skills that were learned in the previous sessions. This step is crucial, as implementing skills in real-life situations helps family members create positive changes.

  • Periodic Evaluation

Progress is regularly monitored and evaluated throughout the process to check the effectiveness of interventions and make changes if necessary

What Can Family Counselling Help With?

Family counselling can help address various issues, such as:

  • Communication breakdown among members
  • Behavioural Issues In Children And Teens
  • Divorce or Marital Issues
  • Issues Between Siblings
  • Problems between parents and children
  • Coping with sudden transitions or changes

What Are The Benefits Of Family Counseling?

Family counselling can have various benefits, such as:

  • Improved communication among family members
  • Enhanced understanding and empathy among family members.  
  • It can help identify and improve strengths within a family
  • It can empower family members with conflict resolution skills, leading to reduced conflict
  • It offers support to families in navigating life transitions and changes.
  • It encourages family members to create healthy boundaries
  • Strengthens the overall bond and relationships among family members. 


Family counselling is a collaborative process designed to help families overcome the issues that they are facing. It is a structured process involving steps like initial assessment, observation of dynamics and designing an intervention plan. By focusing on understanding family dynamics, family counselling helps improve relationships among family members, leading to a positive family environment


  1. Family Therapy: What to Know About Therapy, Types, Benefits. (2020, December 9). Healthline.
  2. How Family Therapy Works. (n.d.). Verywell Mind. Retrieved April 18, 2024, from
Dhruva Koranne

Dhruva Koranne has completed his Masters in Applied Psychology from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, BALM. He has been practicing as a counsellor since 2020 and works to create a safe space for clients where they can open up. In addition to this, Dhruva loves researching and studying about upcoming theories in the field of Psychology. Connect with him on Linkedin