Topic - Families

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We've gathered Psychotherapy Networkers most popular posts and arranged them here by topic.

Kinship Without Connection

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

Mark Matousek

By Mark Matousek - One ordinary day last year, an email appeared from someone I didn’t know, a Jim who lived in Phoenix. It explained that his mother had found a book of mine online, realized I was looking for her ex-husband, and passed the book along to her son. Jim had read the book, done the math, and deduced that we had the same missing father. We agreed to meet three weeks later.

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Mastering the Art of Therapeutic Judo

A Three-Step Process for Cooling Volatile Emotions from the Very First Session

Thomas Sexton

By Thomas Sexton - Based on 30 years of research on the most effective interventions with delinquent and violent juveniles and their families, I’ve found that the research-backed clinical model Functional Family Therapy guides me in sessions and keeps me grounded. Here's how it works.

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What Does a Son Owe a Mother?

A Squeeze of the Hand

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - For 58 years, from my birth until her death, my mother and I clashed over money and material values, cents and sensibilities. She may have felt entitled to a grand lifestyle, but I felt entitled to a less solipsistic mother—one who relished, not hated, my help. Years later, I found myself able to relax and just be her adult son in a way I’d never experienced.

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The Art of Facing an Impossible Task

A Social Worker Finds Inspiration in a Father-Daughter Memory

Hope Payson

By Hope Payson - When I was about 10 years old, I climbed into the cab of my father's truck to join him for an evening of snowplowing. I basked in the rare opportunity to be alone with a man I didn't know well. Decades later at work, I recall that snowplow ride. I'm sitting across from a human blizzard of a woman—someone barely two steps away from drugs that have buried her family alive.

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When Jailers are Prisoners, and Prisoners are Jailers

Salvador Minuchin on Helping Families Redefine Their Stories

Salvador Minuchin

By Salvador Minuchin - In most cases when a child carries a problem, the goal of family therapy focuses on transferring the ownership of the symptom from the intrapsychic machinery of the child to the interpersonal drama of parents and child affecting each other.

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The Ride Home

A Special Feature from Our Family Matters Department

David Treadway

By David Treadway - With his father's help, a young therapist contemplates the biggest gamble of his life.

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VIDEO: Combining Trauma Treatment with Family Therapy

Making Sure Treatment Sticks Outside the Therapy Room

Mary Jo Barrett

Far too often, trauma survivors appear to progress in therapy and then go home and fall right back into the same old patterns of negative emotion and dysfunctional relationships. According to Mary Jo Barrett, author of Treating Complex Trauma, a client’s family can be the therapist’s biggest ally in making sure progress is sustained outside the consulting room. Still, she says, many clinicians overlook how family therapy can support recovery.

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Intimate Enemies

A Stepson Reconsiders a Long-Held Resentment

Barry Jacobs

By Barry Jacobs - A lot of blended families don’t really blend: the new “relatives” at first try to join together, but then they quietly distance themselves, however awkwardly, as differences and conflicts emerge, even as they try to pretend otherwise. My stepfather, Steve, and I made no such pretense—we were enemies from the start.

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What Really Gets Handed Down in a Family?

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Roberta Israeloff

By Roberta Israeloff - Our son was 30, the new girlfriend just a few years younger. They continued to date. She was funny and smart. They moved in together. “Is there some kind of family ring?” my son finally asked. Soon after, my mother-in-law took a turn for the worse. She wouldn’t get out of bed in the rehab center, and she’d lie instead curled up like a fetus. When we’d call, all she’d want to talk about were her things: her dishes and cups, jewelry, and the gifts and mementos she’d accrued over her lifetime. “Every single one of them has a story,” she’d say.

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Are You a "Permaparent"?

Your Adult Child Just Moved Back Home. But Is It Normal?

Martha Straus

By Martha Straus - Today, about 25 million young adults between between 18 and 34 are currently residing with their parents. In its basic form, this story holds that most emerging adults still living at home are wretched, entitled, or manipulative. But the new bungee family offers emerging adults---and our fragmented social fabric---a healing alternative, one that's injecting the best social capital available into the human mix.

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