Services are FREE for anyone who has Title XIX Medicaid or SoonerCare in Oklahoma


Combating Family Disfunction with Counseling

The need for Family Counseling can range from the dynamics of a newly blended family to dysfunction, divorce, troubled relationships, financial problems, the conflict between parents, mental illness, and intervention. Defined as cohesion or how family members interact, Family Dynamics depicts the numerous factors that shape the family unit. Family Counseling or therapy is highly suggested in cases of spousal abuse, parental abuse, child abuse, incest, rape, drug abuse, an inmate parent, interactions with the judicial system, or with Child Care Services.

Counseling can be court mandated in cases of suicidality, criminality, domestic violence, and /or a contested divorce. The counselors and therapists of Improving Lives Counseling Services facilitate discussions, provide mediation, support, diagnosis, and treat families experiencing dysfunction, mental illness, and behavioral, and psychological disorders.


Fostering or adopting a child (at any age) can be just as disruptive to the family unit as giving birth to a child the family has had nine months to prepare for. In the case of infants and toddlers, “Science has taught us over the last 50 years, one of the clearest findings is that early brain development is directly influenced by day-to-day interactions with caregivers.”

The mental health of teens, adolescents, adults, and seniors is affected by role assignments, assigned responsibilities, cohesion, and the need to meet basic (food, shelter, clothing) and emotional needs. When these needs are not met, family members can experience cognitive issues with memory retention, an inability to learn, trouble making decisions, reasoning, and an inability to concentrate.

Circumstances within the family can affect self-esteem, the ability to show empathy, anxiety, stress, trauma, and PTSD into adulthood. Today more people than ever are caring for a sick child or parent, living in uninhabitable housing, experiencing or close to homelessness, eating at soup kitchens, and frequenting discount stores. They are living through a pandemic, financial challenges, and social, cultural, and political discord. These life circumstances (especially if new to the family) can cause fright, flight, anger, behavior disorders, and rage. Family counseling can provide guidance, care, and support as families work through these challenges.

The brain is a complex organ that controls every bodily function. Dysfunction within the Family Dynamic can affect the hypothalamus, amygdala, and hippocampus of the brain. These glands control hunger and thirst, regulate sleep patterns, and control space perception, emotions, and stress. Dysfunction in a family can cause long-term psychological and physiological damage – damage that can be prevented with mental health check-ups and Family Counseling.


Studies of chronic pain that used a measure of family functioning have reported a relation to specific aspects of impaired family functioning, such as low cohesion, high control, and high conflict. Disturbances in family functioning have been identified in youth with chronic pain, headaches, and abdominal pain. Dysfunction and negative family dynamics contribute to heart disease, hypertension, muscle spasms, skin rashes, weight gain, and anorexia, and can lead to symptoms and illnesses related to poorly managed diabetes

How important are the family unit, family dynamics, and Family Counseling? A recent study found, that “up to 80% of children in foster care have significant mental health issues, compared to approximately 18-22 percent of the general population.” A recent government report found children in foster care were four times more likely to have considered suicide and almost four times more likely to have attempted suicide.

Dysfunction in families ranges from mental illness to behavioral disorders, to over-parenting, to perfectionism. Improving Lives Counseling Services’ team of licensed professional counselors and therapists helps families improve relationships and resolve conflict – improve self-esteem and self-love. It teaches the importance of assigning and accepting roles, understanding responsibilities and obligations, validating each member’s existence, understanding family dynamics, opening up about challenges, the importance of communication, and more than listening – hearing.


Each member of your family matters. Protect them by scheduling a Family Counseling Session today. We accept insurance and SoonerCare, and for those without insurance or the ability to pay, Improving Lives Inc. helps to fund Mental Health Care Services. Each member of your family can live the life they were meant to live. You are not alone. Contact us today.