Here are my reflections on a rather subtle, yet insidious family pattern characterized by invisible (unconscious) demands for false togetherness, the demand that all family members pretend to think the same. This enforced "togetherness" has a formidable, unyielding tone, suggesting it is not to be questioned.
Here is a second session from the family with "enforced togetherness" where one member is what I call “insane”; locked inside sanity, locked in unbending, pathological sanity.
Enforced "togetherness" in families, though largely unconscious, emerges in the way a family tells its story. It is not a unity which augments family spirit, it restricts. The restriction serves a purpose for some. The need for protection is motivated by a history of trauma or too much despair. But often a family member, usually a child, may be sacrificed to maintain this appearance of group unity.
Here's a first session with a "misbehaving" boy that reflects the corrosive effect of "enforced unity" in families
Amy: Here’s another thoughtful vignette from Alain de Botton’s “The School of Life.” While overly simplistic at times, Botton peers into the demands parents put on their kids for dutiful behavior, particularly related to school performance. He notes that the source of these demands often stems largely from a place of fear, something I’ve seen over and over again in […]
Amy: This is a post from a few years ago, but I think it’s more apt than ever. In her “Opinion” piece in the New York Times, Sherry Turkle, psychologist […]
Please enjoy this drawing by Relationship Rhythms friend, Anca Tiurean. Anca is a talented Romanian psychotherapist and socio-cultural animator. We look forward to sharing some of her art work with […]
Amy: Part of my attraction to the video “What Nice Men Don’t Say to Nice Women” (see post from 9/5) was that this was the first time I had seen […]
Dave and Raluca Jacono (Raluca is a wonderful therapist/ friend of DK): We both responded similarly to the Nice Man video. ( See video “What Nice Men Don’t Say To Nice Women” from […]
Amy: Here’s a rather provocative post from Alain de Botton’s “School of Life”. We were a bit ambivalent about posting it. I don’t like the ending; it’s too literal. It […]
ADHD in Kids: Our family therapy view of behavior problems in kids looks at some of the hidden pattern in parenting that can contribute to these problems. Good to know. Then change is possible.