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Family Emotions Essay

1144 words - 5 pages

Experiential family therapy is one that believes the root cause of the problems in the families is a result of emotional suppression. This theory is focused on freedom experiencing emotions in the here-and-now. Experiential family therapists believe clients should seek self-fulfillment and focus on individual’s roles in the family rather than on the family as a whole. In order to promote growth, the individual and family must both grow. Once families are emotionally healthy, healthy attachments can then be made. I am drawn to this approach because of its focus on the individual. I believe that if individuals are healthy, family roles will become clearer and the system as a whole will become healthier. It is similar to when a spoiled piece of fruit makes it into a fruit salad, the entire salad is then ruined; however, if the entire salad is healthy, everyone will enjoy it. (Nichols, 2014, p. 130-132)
Normal families contain self-actualized individuals. Children in the family are able to be open and creative, and parents do not have too much control over the children that growth is not a possibility (Nichols, 2014, p. 132). Immediately from this information, I am aware that my family is not normal. I believe that my parents are “helicopter parents”. They hover over me and my brother, and this does not allow for us to be ourselves and to grow. Virginia Satir is given kudos to experiential family therapy, and believer that there were four dishonest ways those persons may communicate: blaming, placating, being irrelevant, and being super reasonable (Nichols, 2014, p. 132). In my dysfunctional family of four, I believe that each of us has played these roles. To be transparent, I believe that I frequently play the role of the blamer, blaming others for problems in the family, my father frequently is the super reasonable computer, who does not express emotions, and my mother currently plays the role of the irrelevant distractor who frequently will change the topic as my brother placates his emotions (Experiential Family Therapy). An experiential family therapist would focus on the emotions present in each family member. There is no special technique for this therapy, except for the personality of the therapist and the assessment is done by the therapist getting to know the family (Nichols, 2014, p. 134). From this, the therapist would then be able to determine what the next steps to assisting the family would be.
Carl Whitaker is another prominent figure in experiential family therapy, and he believed in having a co-therapist minimize countertransference (Nichols, 2014, p. 137). For both Whitaker and Satir, there are a number of expressive techniques to do with a family; including, family sculpting, family puppet interviews, family art therapy, conjoint family drawings, and Gestalt therapy techniques, all with toys, doll houses, stuffed animals, clay, batacca bats, and art supplies (Nichols, 2014, p. 137). I feel the best option for my family is to...

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