Carol has started therapy because of her concerns about her younger sister, Kaitlyn. Carol is 33 and is a bank branch manager. She has been married to Fred, 35, for 10 years. They have one child, Douglas, 8. Kaitlyn, 29, is recently unemployed and living back home with her parents. Carol and Kaitlyn are the
Am I normal? Are we normal? Is this normal? This can’t be normal, can it? Normal people don’t do this, do they? These are common questions in my therapy sessions. Folks I work with are often convinced that their struggles are somehow abnormal, strange, or even bad. This fear is understandable because people generally don’t
Alicia and Jose are raising three kids; Miguel, 12, Mercedes, 10, and Micah, 8. Miguel and Mercedes are generally doing well in school, socially, and at home. The youngest, Micah, is a different story. He argues back every time he’s told to do something, he hates to go to bed and often still climbs into
Ryan and Micky have been married for 3 years. They dated for two years before that. Ryan has a twelve year-old daughter, Samantha, from his previous marriage to Alicia. Alicia and Ryan share joint custody of Samantha. She spends two days on and two days off at each parent’s home. When Ryan and Micky were
“…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,
Whether we are considering a toothache, a tumor, a relational bind, a technical problem, crime, or the economy, most individuals and most social systems, irrespective of their culture, gender, or ethnic background, will “naturally” choose or revert to chronic conditions of bearable pain rather than face the temporarily more intense anguish of acute conditions that
One undeniable fact about human nature; we are wired to avoid pain whenever possible. Including the pain-emotional or physical-that may come with admitting mistakes or faults. I suppose this starts as a child, when mom yells “Who broke the lamp?!” and it’s easy to guess what will happen if we say, “I did it”. As much
The term Emotional Triangle “…describes the way any three people relate to each other and involve others in the emotional issues between them. The triangle appears so basic that it probably also operates in animal societies. The concept postulates the triangle, or three person system, as the molecule or building block of any relationship system.