Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why Do They Have a Barbed Wire Fence Around Their House??

This week in Family Relations, we discussed the different theories/systems in a family.
I really enjoyed it. I'm known for psychoanalyzing people from time to time, so it was fun for me to learn about the different family systems--what kind of boundaries they have, how to cope with different family situations, etc. Minuchin's model is probably my favorite because it explains things very simply in terms that we can understand. 
A straight line is a rigid boundary, which means this family isn't very open to change and probably isn't very open to having visitors. Ever wonder why your neighbor has trees surrounding the front yard so you can't see in? Hmmm...

A dotted line is a diffuse boundary, which means this family probably needs to set up boundaries of some sort. They need to find some kind of system within their family where they don't always let information flow freely from the home. Have some kind of private boundary.
You never know what kind of visitors you'll get at these houses....
Okay, that's a joke.

A dashed line means clear boundaries, which means this family is open to change for the most part and there are certain things they'll talk about outside the home and certain things that stay in. They are welcoming and try to adjust to change rather than run from it. Like we talked about in class, doesn't the white picket fence make you feel like you can talk to this family without feeling you're stepping on their toes?

In my opinion, the clear boundary seems to be the healthiest. I don't think it is healthy for a family to keep everyone out and everything in, but it is also unhealthy to let information flow freely from one person to the next outside of the family. It is wise to set up guidelines within the family unit that help the family keep a healthy identity.

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