Archive for January 30th, 2011

January 30, 2011

Key terms for at least one approach to Family Therapy….

by Rod Smith

Who shows the most health and freedom?

Readers often express interest in the Science of Family Therapy. Here are a few key words to guide any reading to stimulate further interest in at least one of many approaches:

Murray Bowen – is considered one of the pioneers;
Genogram – a diagram of a family usually starting with immediate family or “family of origin”;
Space – the distance between and among people;
Under- and over-functioning – playing more than your own role or doing less than your role deserves or requires; Anxiety and chronic anxiety;
The human need for autonomy;
The human need for intimacy;
Differentiation of self;
Cut-offs, fusion;
Mutuality; respect;
Invisible loyalties – the often irrational and rational loyalty among family members;
Low- and high-functioning individuals; low- and high-functioning families.

Keys to change in a family (if change is indeed possible):

Change in a family often comes from first identifying the most self-differentiated person in the family. This person is challenged by the therapist to move his/her life toward greater levels of health and integrity, despite the cost and the sabotage that will naturally result. Family resistance to change is to be expected. When some seek greater health there will be “push back” from those who benefit from the status quo.

January 30, 2011

Taxi driver has anxiety attacks when driving…..

by Rod Smith

“I have been having anxiety attacks for the past 6 years. I had my first one on the freeway. I thought I can’t drive the freeway for awhile. I started getting them in short places. It is really bad for me. I own a taxi and drive for a living. In the past I have had two bad car crashes when I used to drink and drive a lot. I was in a bad crash while I was working one night. A bus pulled right out in front of me and it was bad. It took about 5 months then my attacks got worse! I didn’t drive for about a year and a half but in that time I was getting attacks in the car with other people when I wasn’t even driving. I’m back to work but still get them very, very bad to where I got to stop and have someone who works for me come get me. I have tried programs and nothing is working. Please help.” (Edited spelling only)

If driving is causing you this much anxiety you might want to consider another form of employment other than driving a taxi. While this does not conquer the problem there is something to be said for removing oneself from the immediate contexts where the stresses occur.

January 30, 2011

He will not consider counseling because he hasn’t been in love with me for the last 10 years…

by Rod Smith

“I have been married for 20 years. My soon to be ex-husband is 18 years older than me. We had children from previous marriages and one child together. After about ten years of marriage I started going out to bars and staying out late. When I look back I am not sure why I did this. He threatened divorce and I never did it again. He now wants a divorce because he says I have not truly treated him as an equal partner and that I gave up caring. I love him with all my heart. He will not consider counseling because he says he loves me and cares about me but hasn’t been in love with me for the last 10 years and so there isn’t anything to work on. I can’t imagine my life without him and it is so hard because he won’t see me to talk face to face because he says he has too much anger towards me. I know I need to find myself. I just want another chance.”

The client’s presented issue is seldom the issue. This is not about bars or staying out late ten years ago. Take up your life, woman – he doesn’t want to be married. Don’t waste your future on him.