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.




Having a feeling of gratitude sets us up for  a positive feeling to start the day as well as one to continue with during the day.  Being grateful for the things that we have as well as the things that happen to us during the day changes the way we see things.  When bad things happen, if we are thanking God for the experience and asking to learn what we need to learn from it, then we will.  If we are grumbling and complaining about what just happened then we are learning nothing.  The sooner we get to the gratitude the sooner we learn what we need to learn and move on to the next challenge.  That doesn’t mean it is easy.  We learned somewhere along the line to complain to get what we want.  We need to unlearn it and relearn the positive attitude of gratitude.  Again it will take 3 weeks of constantly catching yourself complaining, stopping it and replacing it with gratitude to stop the behavior.  It will take 3 more weeks to make that behavior a habit.  No magic pill.  Just hard work.  You will need to be able to relax while you’re learning and making mistakes.  The more mistakes the long the change will take.  Be gentle with yourself.  Here is my video to help you give it away and relax.



Using violence of any kind, whether it is verbal or physical, is an indication that you have already lost the battle.  Violence does not solve anything.  It will get you more violence.  People become violent when they feel they have no other choice or when they have been raised in violence and it has worked in their family to get what they want.  If you are trying to solve or resolve a problem than violence is not the way to do it.  If you are trying to get the upper hand and “win” then you will resort to anything to get what you want and “Win”.  Resolving problems has nothing to do with winning.  If you are in a relationship and are having an argument or discussion with your partner and you have resorted to violence to win, you should get out of the relationship, because you do not love this person. That is another blog.  Resorting to violence means you have to be right and the other person has to do it your way or you will make them.  Violence is not winning it is making the other person comply out of fear.  You don’t win on a lot of levels.  Making someone do something in order for you not to hurt them is bullying.  You need to look at why you need to be right all of the time and why you need to win all of the time.  It is impossible to do both all of the time.  All of us lose once in a while and all of us are wrong some of the time.  It should not be ego based whether we win or lose or are right or wrong.  It should be a realistic expectation that we are both once in a while.  Neither make us bad people, just fully human.  Resorting to violence means we have not been taught the skill set that we need to resolve the problem any other way and become frustrated because we don’t have the skill set necessary to do so.  Learning the skill set is not impossible no matter what age you happen to be.  Finding other ways to resolve your problems will make you a happier, more content person.  It is always easier when you accept yourself as a fallible human being like the rest of us.  While you’re learning other ways of handling your need to win here is my video to help you relax enough to give away what you cannot control.



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Quiet People

I  have always been a quiet person.  With my first abnormal psychology class I even explored the possibility of being a person with Aspergers, which is a high functioning autism.  It is not uncommon to identify with disorders found in an abnormal psychology book when you are beginning your trek through the world to being a therapist.  I also found myself diagnosing my family, because as a child I observed a lot of things and did not feel the need to comment. There was no need to compete, no need to comment, no need to prove people wrong about what they thought of me.  I am still that way  The reason I came to the conclusion that I did not have Aspergers is because I have a filter in my frontal lobe.  Just because it comes into my mind does not mean I have to either say it or act on it.  I can sit quietly by and think a lot of things and not feel the need to express one of them.  This did not sit well with my family.  We are a family of talkers and anyone who does not have an expressed opinion is considered slow, stupid, mentally challenged. I was considered mentally challenged because I did not talk about anything unless I felt it was important enough to talk about. I saw my family as talking a lot about nothing.  There are a lot of things I do not consider important enough to talk about because I truly do not care about them or what happens with them.  The not talking also was brought into the classroom and I had few friends during my school years.  I did not feel a need for too many friends and found the giggling and the drama unnecessary and silly.  I was voted most unamiable at 8th grade graduation.   When I looked up what the word meant I was surprised because I did not consider myself unfriendly, just shy.  As I got older I began to show people a sense of humor and used the humor to get through a lot of situations and still do, especially stressful situations.  I am still quiet and do not feel a need to express an opinion even though I may have a differing opinion then yours I am able to sit and listen to yours, respect it without commenting and unless you directly ask me my opinion you may never hear it.  The teachers at school spoke to me as though I were slow, mentally challenged or deaf.  I knew it, but had no idea how to make it different.  I was often called on even though I did not raise my hand.  I knew the answer but could not get my mouth to work enough to say it because I had just been put on the spot and was unprepared to speak about anything.  This of course brought ridicule from my peers at the first opportunity.  I learned how to defend myself verbally and physically and reinforced the idea that people were untrustworthy and you were on your own to defend yourself against them.  That is how I came to defend my younger sisters as well.

I still do not have many friends and do not need many.  I am still quiet and use my sense of humor to get through a lot of things.  I have found a voice but still do not need to express feelings or thoughts about what you might be telling me or talking about,  I am able to stand up in front of crowds of people and teach or speak without anxiety.  I have learned that I am not stupid or unamiable. I am content with who and what I am and know that I will continue to grow and become fully who I might eventually become. If you have experienced the same thing, this will help you to get rid of those things you have no control over.  Click here for the relaxation and guided imagery video’s. Enjoy!

Speaking in anger

Often times when we are angry we say things that we normally would not say.  We say them to people that we love because they have hurt us.  Whether it is consciously or unconsciously we are saying things that are now hurting the other person.  Speaking in anger only causes more problems between people.  So now, instead of just the thing that caused you to be angry, you now have the hurtful thing(s) you just said to them.  Speaking in anger is never effective to resolve the situation because of this.  It will only bring about more hurt.  If you are angry, underneath the anger is usually hurt.  Someone hurt you.  If you love this person, and you usually do if they got close enough to hurt you, then walk away from the situation until you are calm enough to deal with it.  Go for a walk or run.  Listen to music, use my videos or whatever else it takes to calm yourself.  Then address the situation calmly.  If you find yourself getting angry again, walk away again and repeat this process until you have said what needs to be said about the situation, calmly.  If the other person becomes angry, walk away until they are calm.  Let them know that this is what you will be doing until the situation can be resolved for both of you.  Loving someone does not include making the situation worse than it already might be.  If the idea is to settle the situation to both your advantages, then you do not want to make it worse.  Do not think of this as a win / lose situation.  Think of it as win / win situation.  Do what you can to make that happen, including controlling your anger, so it is not controlling you and the situation.  Here is the relaxation video to help you calm yourself.


Self Love

Learning to love oneself happens in childhood.  There are several things that will disrupt those feelings.  Parents who concentrate only on the physical appearance and not the character of the child,  teachers, principals and guidance counselors who allow bullying in their schools and do nothing to stop it and neighbors who watch children hurting each other and do not report it.  It takes a village to raise a child and it takes only one person ignoring what needs attention to make that child think they can get away with it and repeat that same thing.  Self loathing happens when a child has been taught they are not good enough, they do not meet the traditional standards of the home, school or the neighborhood.  They are not accepted for who and what they are, rather the adults are being negatively critical for who they are.  Trying to meet other people’s standards does not make them fully who they are.  Encouraging the positive things in a child will make them positive, productive and healthy adults.  They will learn to love themselves and therefore learn to love others.  Love is not negatively critical, does not bully, mock, make fun of or punish what is not like you, it loves unconditionally, no strings.  What you show them with your actions and with your words will mold them into the adults that they will become.  Words do hurt a child.  What you do also hurts. From the time a child is a baby they learn by watching the adults in their lives.  They learn how to walk, talk and be from those adults.  Be careful what you are teaching them with your actions and words.

If you are one of those adults that are negatively critical of the children in your life, whether they are yours or not, you can change that behavior by catching yourself doing it and stopping yourself.  You will have to be mindful of what you are doing and saying in order to catch yourself. You will have to stop yourself from doing the old behavior and replace it with a new behavior.  It will take 3 weeks to change the behavior and 3 more weeks to make the new behavior a habit.    Here is my relaxation video’s to help give away what ever comes up while you’re doing it.     Link to the video’s   Enjoy!



Labels by themselves are necessary.  They help us identify things in our environment and communicate with each other.  Labels become a problem when we use them to hurt each other.  When the label becomes an adjective to make a person less than we are in our eyes and the eyes of others.  When it helps us to eliminate, lessen, objectify, ridicule, be afraid of or negatively criticize another person or sometimes entire groups of people.

In my profession labels are critical to getting any kind of service the person might need.  In order for the insurance company to pay for the service it has to be labeled.  So if a person is diagnosed with Bipolar disorder they are a person who has Bipolar disorder.  That is not the only thing they are.  The Bipolar does not stop them from living their lives.  They have to be mindful of the disorder, they have to take care of themselves like any other disease with which a person might have to deal.  They are taking medication for the disease, they are learning to control the anger outbursts but the disease should not be defining them.  They should be taught to control it and use it to their advantage.  Other people should not look at them as having something wrong with them any more than any other disease.

Labels should only be used to help us communicate. There is no reason to be afraid of, criticize or try to lessen another person because of the label that they carry.  It is not the only thing that they are and you will be the one missing out in getting to know what else this person might be or become. If you are the person that is trying to make the person less than they are you can change the behavior.  It will take 3 weeks of constantly stopping yourself from negatively talking about another person and using their labels to hurt them.  It will take 3 more weeks to make that a habit.  This video will help you relax and give away what you have no control over.     Click here for the link to the video’s.      Enjoy!