The Active Role of Our Family
Just as Socrates said “know thyself”, Murray Bowen, the father of family systems theory, said, “know your family”. Get some family counseling.
I have been amazed at how this concept has changed my perspective on how I view problems. Over the past few years, I have become painfully aware of how little time we actually spend really getting to know our family members.
We assume since we live or lived in the same house all those years that we know all there is to know.
Family Work Imperative
As a therapist, it has been demonstrated to me time and again, how much of an active role our family or family system plays in our lives and in our symptoms. We have a deep need to feel connected, validated and understood.
As a therapist, I can only pop into my client’s lives for an hour a week or less. This makes the family work imperative to healing. I encourage all the parents out there who think their 16-year-old kid has a problem to “fix” or the husband who thinks the marital issues would be solved if the wife could handle her depression and anxiety to rethink this approach.
A Corrosive Message
The more we communicate the corrosive message that “there is something wrong with you”. The less accountability we are taking for our part of the problem. In a family, we all are contributing to the dysfunction.
Brene Brown says,
“Blame is the discharge of discomfort and pain, it has in inverse relationship with accountability.”
Why do we spend so much time trying to find out whose fault is it?
Because it gives us a temporary sense of control and we can momentarily dispel our anger onto someone else, not taking healthy accountability for it.
How can we show up as a team to address a family issue or problem?
For those parents who are desperately questioning what they can do for their child, I would answer to unite in looking at the problem as the problem and not heaping all the responsibility onto one member.
Turn to empathy and systemic change by being open to getting help together. If your child refuses to seek treatment for problems, honor where they are at and take responsibility for what you CAN improve: Yourself!
Utah Family Therapy, Located in American Fork, Utah
Watch a Summation of Brene Brown’s Video on Blame
Watch the full version of Brene Brown’s Video