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The Family Hero, or “Morticia and the Psychiatrist”–Part II

In his book, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, Robert Burney writes that “there are four basic roles that children adopt in order to survive growing up in emotionally dishonest, shame-based, dysfunctional family systems.” The children take these roles because… Continue Reading

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The Family Hero, or “Morticia and the Psychiatrist”: Part I

Remember the wondrously insane and macabre Addams family? (“They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky/They’re all together ooky. . . .”) They were the anti-Partridge family, the inverse Brady Bunch, fabulously perverse, with two ghastly children, Wednesday (as in… Continue Reading

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All in the Family: The Identified Patient

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” You only had to make it through the first chapter [first line, to be honest] of Anna Karenina to find this out–and there will be no… Continue Reading

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The Ties that Bind–Up and Over

As Mario Puzo informed us–and he ought to know–“The strength of a family, like the strength of an army, is in its loyalty to each other.” So far, so good. But loyalty to, precisely, which part of the family and… Continue Reading

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All in the Family: The Genie in the Genogram

As some of the past posts have shown (take the post on triangles, for example),¬†utilizing the genogram within the family systems approach often has significant explanatory powers for why a person finds him or herself stuck within current relational patterns.… Continue Reading