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Family Counseling: definition, what it consists of

What is family counseling?

Family orientation is defined as the set of techniques aimed at strengthening capacities. Both the obvious ones and the latent ones, which aim to strengthen the bonds that unite the members of the same family system.

The purpose of family counseling is that they are healthy, effective and capable of stimulating the personal progress of the members and of the emotional context that welcomes them. The family counseling is therefore fundamental.

In this way we see that the role of family counseling is the optimal quality of interaction between human beings and the evolutionarily important aspects of their physical, social and psychological environments.

Family Counseling

It is about strengthening evolutionary processes of the family. In addition, help people overcome their difficulties in order to prevent more serious psychosocial disorders. In this way, the role of family counseling is clearly a preventive function of subsequent disorders.

Levels and applications of family counseling

The functions of family counseling are extensive. They approach all the problems that can be posed to a family.

In general, the following levels of family counseling are recognized :
  • Information level: social resources available to the family.
  • Educational level: providing parents with the necessary means for an integral development of their educational functions.
  • Level of advice: before the different phases through which families pass.
  • Level of treatment and conflict resolution: At this level the goal is to overcome the dysfunctional dynamisms of families, making possible their progress and adaptation to the environment. This level is specifically therapeutic.
In this framework, three main types of activities or programs are recognized within the family counseling:
  • Family counseling consultation: Formation of a family, adaptation to social changes involving families, support in the different stages that affect children, etc.
  • Advice in crisis situations: mediation in separation and divorce proceedings. Support intervention in dysfunctional families with family violence, handicapped, internments, etc.
Family Counseling

Let's see, finally, some of the possible applications of family counseling:

  • Mediation between separated spouses, using structured negotiation techniques and search for agreements at different levels. Minimization of the effects of the separation of the children.
  • Explore and understand explicit problems of marriage , such as stress, before retirement.
  • Marriage stability instrument.
  • Family counseling in situations of school failure of children.
  • Counseling as an alternative to the placement of minors or adolescents.
  • Vehicle of social integration of more unstructured family members.
  • Psychosocial support in the prepartum and postpartum.
  • Associated counseling in situations of drug addiction, delinquency, prostitution and begging.
  • Absence of one of the parents.
  • Domestic organization.
  • Relationships with the community. 
That is, it is to offer psychological services to families who experience tension and dysfunction. Currently, one of the functions of the family counseling psychologist. Is that it requires a deep knowledge of the family system and social networks. Likewise, his intervention is more towards educational levels and counseling rather than therapy.


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