Family Counseling is a longer-term intervention than Family Mediation whose goal is to resolve a discrete topic or address a specific issue or goal. Family Counseling may help the parents tell their growing children the stories of their childhoods, the highlights and mistakes, the deprivations. The parents can be helped to explain their reasons and goals for their parenting approaches. The whole family may weigh in on consequences of behaviors for either children or parents, consequences which given the current realities of THIS, and not a past family, make the most logical sense.
Through a multi-generational family geneogram or map, everyone in the family can see how issues of giftedness, poverty, mental illness, alcoholism, medical illness, bi-lingual speaking or keeping the original language away from the children, effects the current family.
Some families come to discuss the best living arrangements for a senior member of the family or a special needs adolescent. Some siblings come in to discuss how to jointly care for senior members of the family. Five sisters brought in their brother, seeking his remorse for incest perpetrated upon them in their teens. They discovered a history of sexual abuse which occurred over at least three previous generations. Everyone in the family has the opportunity to contribute how they have been impacted by behavior of other members of the family and the ways in which they would like to see the family operate according to principles of maximum love, caring, and functionality.