Dysfunctional families

Just by virtue of the word dysfunction it means that it is not working functionally.  A family that is dysfunctional splinters all of the aspects of being human. They place responsibility for each function on a person within that family because one person cannot do it all.  Those facets are divided among the children.  They have been labeled by mental health professionals as the following:  Super Hero, scapegoat, lost child and mascot.  They each serve a purpose within the family and the family cannot function without each one doing their part within the family.  This week I will talk about each role that is played within the dysfunctional family to help explain how the family works.  This system also works well within other systems as well.  I have seen it at work in businesses, the judicial system, law enforcement and just about anywhere that you can name that cannot function without separating those parts of the whole.  In a functional system, whether that is a family or something else.  The components mentioned above are within each individual and the family as a whole helps the individual struggling with something,  through whatever that is without judgment, ridicule, being ignored or having to justify whatever it is.  The family as a whole helps that person to understand the lessen that needs to be learned without fear of being rejected or unloved.  But instead a functional family comes together and supports that individual through whatever it might be that they are going through with unconditional love.

Dysfunction usually comes when people are distracted with life in general.  They struggle with their daily lives because of something that is a constant drain on their energies, mental health or physical well being.  It is usually looked at in alcoholic or addicted homes.  It can be any distraction.  It can be a long term illness, homelessness, divorce or anything that allows the children to take on some of the parental roles because the parents either cannot or will not do it themselves. Or that the children are not being taught what children need to be taught.  That can be because the parents were never taught it and therefore cannot teach what they do not know themselves or that they do not have the time or energy to do it themselves.  This way the child is not getting what they need and develops skills that are not functional within the world, but instead only within that family or system.  At some point the child will realize that what they learned within their family does not work in most places in the outside world.  They will either choose to change or they will find a dysfunctional system to work in and play the same role they have always played within the dysfunction.

This can also change.  You will need to be able to relax while you are doing it.  here is the relaxation video while you are making the changes.



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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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