Thursday, February 23, 2012

Family Systems Approaches

Family systems approaches, including those advocated by treatment centers attempt to unearth and catalogue the unspoken rules that govern dysfunctional families. That is when various family members have to learn to adapt and change their life style to avoid the acting out of the prime stressor; some of the most common adaptations fall under three basic categories:
·       Don't talk,
·       Don't trust,
·       Don't feel.  
These rules basically layout all the prohibitions about speaking out honestly about the problem and/or one's feelings within the system.  Understanding that acceptance is a necessary need and if one is to be accepted in the family or system then these unspoken rules must be obeyed. The oddity is if you don’t follow these rules you are seen as a deviant by the other system members and treated accordingly.
There are hundreds of variations on a theme of roles that can develop as subgroups under those umbrella categories:
Caretaker, The Bully, People-Pleaser, Workaholic, Martyr, Perfectionist, Tap Dancer, Lost Child, Enabler, Gad Fly, The Clown, The Scapegoat, The Rebel, The Good Guy/Nice Guy, The Parent, The Hero, The Mediator, The Charmer, The Victim, The Offender, The Addict, The Healer, The Organizer, The Prophet, The Queen Bee and The Odd duck Role. 
This is the short list. 
These roles are all self-defeating behaviors that are greatly exaggerated and complicated by a pathological relationship to anyone who fills the role of prime stressor within the system ... These roles will, over all diminish our capacity to initiate and or be able to participate in loving relationships.

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