No Family Is Perfect Essay

1081 words - 4 pages

Many give credit to Salvador Munichin for being the founder of structural family therapy. As he embraced the ideal that children must go home and face the problems at home once they have fixed the problems at home, he began to see families as a whole in therapy. This being a new concept for many, he thus is one of the first therapists to work with families. Family structure is the organization of a family and the subsystems within them, as well as how boundaries are formed (p. 112). Minuchin studied family structure and attempted to change how families are organized, to thus change their interactions. There were many different types of organization within families and the subsystems within families have varied. Subsystems are formed and based off the different boundaries placed in family structure, which can be rigid enmeshed, or clear. For Minuchin, families that do not have structure and are not able to accommodate to changes within the structure, establish homeostasis, then they are dysfunctional. This paper will focus on my family dysfunction based on a structural family therapist’s perspective.
I am a member of a family of four, my father, my mother, my brother, and myself. The structure and boundaries in my family system are not healthy. There should be clear boundaries in my family that place my parents on the top with all power, but my brother seems to have more power in my family. Reasons why we do not go certain places, arrive late, or go somewhere is usually based on how my brother feels. The executive subsystem, where the parental figures are supposed to be placed, are non-existent in my family structure. The purpose of the executive subsystem is to fun the family and manage the marriage with clear boundaries of the parents. Unfortunately, this is not present in my family. As the responsibility of the executive subsystem is to care, protect, and socialize the children, it is with no surprise that my brother is as careless as he is sometimes. As a result not seeing my parents work with each other, our family has not been able to work collaboratively.
The boundaries in my family are much enmeshed. Decisions made by one person could be made for someone else. My mother, in particular, lives vicariously through the lives of her children so vastly that it is almost that she is living our lives for us. Every subsystem holds boundaries and define who is within that subsystem and not. These boundaries can be physical and/or psychological that can separate people from one another and organize the interactions others have with each other. Boundaries are observed by therapists to diagnosis family functions. The boundaries that my mother and father have are rigid. It sometimes seems as if my parents live separate lives and cohabitate in the same household. My brother and I have clear boundaries and I believe hold the healthiest subsystem within my family. We are very clear with each other about our desires and how we feel. We also easily relate...

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