Our families can be the source of great joy, inspiration, sustenance and good examples of mercy and strength. It’s equally, painfully true that families can be our greatest source of misery, stagnation, anger and resentment.
For you perhaps the real question is: can families be fixed? Is it possible the same family that turns every birthday, every holiday, maybe every meal into a nightmare can be transformed into a group of compassionate, accepting, sincere, nurturing loved ones?
The answer, you might be surprised to know, is yes. You'll see why we say this as you continue reading below.
Dr. Murray Bowen, WWII Army Surgeon & Psychiatrist
Dr. Murray Bowen, a young psychiatrist, discovered in the late 1940s that the families of the schizophrenic patients he was treating started showing strange symptoms as his patients improved. Bowen realized that the patients were like pressure valves for their families, and that, if he empowered the strongest members of a family, the whole family--including the patient--got better.
This idea didn't go over too well with the traditional psychoanalytic community, because it changed the focus from the most dependent to the leader, and from the patient to the family (and clearly some patients must be cared for before family concerns can be addressed). It also means that we who work with Family Systems are not counseling, rather we are coaching the family to learn how to deal with stuckness and anxiety. And, by the way, it works!
This is a genogram, a diagram of multiple generations of a family. We like to call them "family grams."
you'll find discussions on our website that will help you to understand your family, to discover where it is "stuck," and possibly to develop a plan for getting it unstuck. You'll find resources for drawing your own family gram, links to some videos in which we discuss key ideas of Family Systems and why they are important, and contact information for additional help. But perhaps the most helpful tool of all is our manual . . .
Available from Indigo Sea Press, you can find the book on Amazon and Kindle or you can purchase the book directly from our site.