A large percentage of employees who come to the FSAP do so to seek guidance for family issues. As you can imagine, the concerns are varied, from attempting to find good child care, to struggling with an adolescent, to trying to find effective ways of coping with the demands of an aging parent, just to name a few. When we set up the FSAP we felt that it was important to extend our counseling services to family members and have provided our service to many siblings and spouses of faculty and staff. A family member is defined as someone who lives in the same household as the employee, although exceptions have been made.

It is always interesting to meet with so many different families. It helps us to learn about what works and what doesn't. We came across a survey that was conducted by Curran in 1983 who interviewed 551 professionals who work with families to try and determine the factors that they felt make up a "Healthy Family". The 15 most frequently identified traits were the following:

  1. Communicates and listens. (Click here for more information on effective communication)
  2. Affirms and supports one another.
  3. Teaches respect for others.
  4. Develops a sense of trust.
  5. Has a sense of play and humor.
  6. Exhibits a sense of shared responsibility.
  7. Teaches a sense of right and wrong.
  8. Has a strong sense of family in which rituals and traditions abound.
  9. Has a balance of interaction among members.
  10. Has a shared religious core.
  11. Respects the privacy of one another.
  12. Values service to others.
  13. Fosters family table time and conversation.
  14. Shares leisure time.
  15. Admits to and seeks help with problems.

If you are interested in finding ways to improve the health of your family contact us through e-mail or call us. For other hot links with useful family information, check out the Family Planet.