Family Counseling When One Sibling Has Special Needs


Having a special needs child is just as much of a blessing as a child who develops normally, but that doesn't mean it's easy to take care of them. In addition to the difficulties associated with caring for a child who has special needs, the stress of doing so can take its toll on the entire family. This is particularly true for the siblings of a child with special needs, who may feel as if they are ignored or don't get as much attention as they would like to receive and for parents who feel the stress of constant caregiving. Family counseling can be enormously helpful for the entire family when a situation like this arises.

What Family Counseling Is Like

Family counseling is exactly what it sounds like. It's a form of counseling that the entire family takes part in. In some instances, every member of the family goes to the session together and participates in discussion as a family unit. In other cases, one or two family members, such as the parents, will attend sessions that other members do not take part in. The siblings of the child with special needs will also get time to speak with the counselor about how they are feeling. The goal is to ensure that each family member gets the time they need to air their concerns and worries, as well as time to work on solutions.

How Counseling Can Help the Family as a Whole

One of the primary things that family counseling can do is teach families coping skills they can utilize as a family unit, as well as coping mechanisms that help each of them on an individual basis. For example, parents of special needs children are more likely to be stressed on a daily basis, and counseling helps teach them ways to manage and reduce their stress. Similarly, counseling helps teach siblings of special needs children to speak with their parents about what they need to feel happier.

How Counseling Can Help the Child with Special Needs

Family counseling also aims to help the child with special needs function as part of a family. For example, if a child has learning disabilities, family counseling will help the child develop ways to study more effectively. For a child with behavior problems, family counseling will help the child develop coping skills to improve behavior. The goal is to allow the child with special needs to feel heard and also to feel empowered to take charge of making positive changes.

If you think family counseling could benefit your family, visit Giblin Consulting.


20 February 2015

Talking About Your Problems

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