The important of family-professional alliances is an integral part of counseling. Dispositions and personal and family characteristics all make a difference. This is something that the counselor needs to focus on, especially in terms of strengths of each person Not only are the skills and training of the counselor essential for family treatment approaches to work, the therapist must also establish a solid rapport with the family in order to enact change. Philosophical beliefs and attitudes of the family also need to be respected and discussed in therapy. The Family Systems Model has been shown to improve parent-child interactions.
There are some myths about family centered practices. Just because a family member is passionate about something does not means that this person will follow through on actions to find success. Empowerment and some coaching from the therapist are usually needed to help a client achieve change. Another myth is that empowerment works for every culture. Certain cultures may not respond well to empowerment and may need other methods and treatment approaches. The counselor needs to examine the conflict between empowerment and sociocultural beliefs. It is a myth that parents who have a child with a disability always feel burdened by the child. In fact, many feel empowered by the child.
I feel comfortable providing family centered services. I know how to establish a solid rapport with many different types of people, which is needed when working with families. Focusing on positive traits and helping each family member see the benefits in each other can create a supportive family environment, improve communication, and bring out the best in each other. Support groups can also help family members feel understood and to cope with feelings. Obstacles I see are family members with major issues, such as substance abuse, family members who are quite resistant to counseling, and cultures that are more patriarchal and controlling that make it hard for each family member to have equal footing in the family.