Family counselors generally start by taking a family history, including medical history and any past psychiatric issues. Then they’ll ask leading questions such as, “Why did you come in to see me?” and the like. This is to get family members talking about their issues. The counselor usually wants to hear from everyone, and they will establish ground rules for communication that ensure more positive outcomes. Once the issues are out in the open, the counselor may apply one of many different tools, such as role-playing exercises, journal assignments, and advice about how to manage situations differently in the future.