Super Hero

In a dysfunctional system whether that be a family system or any other system of power, there is a person that develops the characteristics of the systems hero.  In a family system it is usually the first born.  The super hero saves the family from disgrace.  They are the only child in that system that succeeds.  They are usually parentified, meaning that they take over for the other children where the parents fail to do so.  This is the child that every one says they are 4 going on 40, or they are the little man or woman.  They are behaving older then their years.  The problem with that is they are missing out on being a child and will have to go back and do that at some point in their lives when they are an adult.  You don’t really get to skip over parts of your childhood without something being missing from your growth.  Super hero’s do well in school and at home.  They are never a problem in the community and obey all of the rules.  They are usually super organized because that is the only way they can keep track of everything that they have to do for their parents and siblings.  They take over the role of parent because their parents are not doing it.  They usually grow into people who need to control because everything about their childhood has been out of control and scary.  They are often times rigid in their thinking and not always able to let go of what is stopping them from moving forward with their growth, because when they let go bad things happen.

Even though super hero’s are successful, they are not always happy because they do not know how to play.  They are not always happy with their success because they feel something is missing, and it is.  Their childhood.  In order to heal they will have to learn how to let go of the control they feel they need to hang on to, they will need to learn how to play, they will have to learn how to truly love themselves.  ACOA is a good place to start if there are meetings in your area.  ACOA is Adult Children of Alcoholics.  Even though it says alcoholics, dysfunction is the same no matter what you label it and can be within any system in any culture.  Change is possible for this hero and will come when they are able to trust enough to let go of all of the old patterns that kept them safe when they were a child but no longer work in adulthood.  List the patterns of behavior that are getting you into trouble and then change them one by one until you are happy with what you’ve got.  Remember that you did not cause this and that you did the best you could with the situation that you had at that time.  Changing behavior is one of my earlier blogs.  Here is my relaxation video to help while your doing it.



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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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