Family counseling needed. How to do this when we live in different states?
September 18, 2011 8:54 PM   Subscribe

Family counseling needed. How to do this when we live in different states?

My sibling and I have had a major falling out. Although on the surface it's over something fairly small, in reality (as these things so often are) it is about long-standing patterns -- trust, loyalty, power, favoritism. I want very, very much for us to be the friends our parents want us to be. I think we need counseling, someone neutral to help us work through what is said and unsaid. Assuming my sibling is willing (which may or may not be true, I don't know) how can we go about working with a counselor when we live in different states? And how do we find someone we both agree on?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Honestly? You most likely can't - family counseling works by being in the same room, or having the same counselor so they could get a feel for the dynamics of the family and work with it. Also, part of this is to get both standpoints on the conflict, and try to deal with both standpoints. Different counselors have different approach and attitude, hence why counseling isn't a one-size-fit-all therapy. What works for one person, may completely shut another down. That's the job of the counselor is to act as a buffer, and help the family communicate using the existing family dynamics. Two counselors cannot accomplish this to a high degree that is often needed for family dynamic issues. Sure, you could sign the HIPAA release forms so they could talk - but honestly without hearing both sides, your fighting a losing battle.

Living in different states, I would recommend individual therapy with the goal being to learn how to cope and deal with your sibling. The long term goal would be to repair your relationship with them; but for family counseling - I think your SOL on this one.
posted by lpcxa0 at 5:46 AM on September 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

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