Category Archives: Siblings

Public Displays Of Emotional Process

PDA: Public Displays of Affection. Some people love them, some people hate them. Now we have PDEPs: Public Displays of Emotional Process. I have a very large extended family. More than 40 second cousins on my father’s father’s side alone. With such a large group, political disagreements are inevitable, especially lately. Throughout the history of the family

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This Is Us, Systems Style

This is Us is a beloved, popular new TV show.  If the reader is one of the few who haven’t seen it already, a family of five is featured; parents Jack and Rebecca and their 3 children, Randall, Kevin, and Kate. Kate and Kevin are biological twins while the orphaned Randall, born on the same

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Sisters

Solid-Self and No-Self Behavior, Another Perspective

In my recent newsletter I addressed the difference between “Solid-Self” and “No-Self” behavior.  In this post I’ll describe another aspect of what it means to operate from a solid-self rather than a no-self perspective: Daisy (not her real name) has been a client for the past several months.  She takes her therapy seriously by making goals for

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Your Family is an Emotional System

Q:  My husband and I are having a lot of problems lately.  I asked him to come to marriage counseling but he says I’m the one with the problem so I should just go by myself.  How can we work on our relationship if he won’t even admit he has a problem? Q:  My daughter,

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Growing Apart: A Case of Not Enough, or Too Much?

Shayna is 32 years old and attending her first therapy appointment.  She’s decided to enter therapy because she’s been feeling depressed and lethargic.  She reports that she’s avoiding her friends and not participating in the activities she used to enjoy.  She’s also gained about 25 pounds which has her really upset.  She knows it would

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The Family Emotional System

The term emotional system refers to any group of people who have developed interdependencies to the point where the resulting system through which they are connected (administratively, physically, or emotionally) has evolved its own principles of organization.__A family emotional system includes the members’ thoughts, feelings, emotions, fantasies, and associations, their past connections individually and together.

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Stepfamily Challenges

“…triangles are the smallest stable building block of any emotional system….a two-person system is stable as long as anxiety is low, but when it rises it automatically draws in the most vulnerable third person and becomes a triangle.  Although the triangular process in families is always shifting, it also involves patterns that repeat over time,

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