The word “consultation” is used in several meanings: it is a meeting, an exchange of opinions of experts on any matter; expert advice of family counseling; an institution that provides such advice, such as legal advice. Thus, to consult is to consult with a specialist on some matter.
Family counseling has a pronounced specificity
Which is determined by the subject, goals, and objectives of this process, as well as how the counselor realizes his professional role in the individual logic of family life. The particularities of counseling are undoubtedly influenced by theoretical preferences, scientific approach, or the school to which the counselor belongs.
Thus, the style of family counseling in line with a person-centered approach is distinguished by its complete centering on the client, special attention to his experiences and experience. The cognitive-behavioral approach, or NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), involves short-term counseling, similar to the process of social learning or retraining.
Abroad, family counseling stood out as a special approach to providing psychological assistance to a person and a family in difficult life situations in the 50s. He is distinguished from classical psychotherapy by the rejection of the concept of illness, greater attention to the client’s life situation and his personal resources; from training – attaching importance not so much to knowledge as to the ways of interaction between the consultant and the client, which gives rise to additional opportunities for the independent overcoming of difficulties.
In psychological science, the term “family counseling” appears in the early 90s. last century. Counseling psychology proceeds from the idea that with the help of a specially organized communication process, additional psychological forces and abilities can be actualized in a person who has applied for help, which will help him find new opportunities for getting out of a difficult life situation.
Family counseling psychology tries to answer five basic questions. What is the essence of the process that occurs between a person (or family) who finds himself in a difficult situation and who has asked for help (a client), and a person who provides it (a consultant)!
What functions should a consultant perform and what personality traits, attitudes, knowledge, and skills are necessary for the successful performance of their functions? What reserves, internal forces of the client can be updated in the course of consulting? What features does the situation in the client’s life impose on the counseling process? What techniques and techniques can be deliberately used in the process of providing assistance?
Despite all the differences that are observed today in understanding the essence of psychological counseling and its tasks, theorists and practitioners agree that counseling is a professional interaction between a trained counselor and a client, aimed at solving the latter’s problem. This interaction is usually face-to-face, although it can sometimes involve more than two people.
The rest of the positions diverge. Some believe that family counseling is different from psychotherapy and is centered on more superficial work (for example, on interpersonal relationships), and its main task is to help a family or an individual look at their problems and life difficulties from the outside, demonstrate and discuss those moments of relationships, who, being the source of difficulties, usually not realized and not controlled. Others see counseling as one of the forms of psychotherapy and see its central task in helping the client find his true self and find the courage to become that self.
In the last decade, there has been a tendency to use the term “psychological counseling” as a synonym for psychological support of a client (person or family) in difficult periods of life. It is this understanding of counseling that we will adhere to. Depending on the life situation of a person or family (as a collective client), the goals of counseling can be certain changes in self-awareness (the formation of a productive attitude to life, acceptance of it in all its manifestations, not excluding suffering; gaining faith in oneself and the desire to overcome difficulties, recovery broken ties between family members, the formation of family members’ responsibility for each other, etc.).
Family counseling should be aimed at restoring or transforming the ties of family members with each other and the world, at developing the ability to understand each other and form a full-fledged family. Flexible regulating relations both within the family and with various social groups.