When a family has trouble getting along, it’s often in the context of how one’s relationship is defined within the family unit. For example, if a son is seen as “the troublemaker,” he may come to believe it’s his duty to rebel because of the way he’s perceived.
Families are in constant flux and are always transforming, yet members sometimes get discouraged when they feel stuck in a monotony of a recurrent role. The “rebellious son” is known to be humorous to his friends, loyal to his grandmother, and brave to his elderly neighbor. However, the family doesn’t acknowledge these labels for him, but keep him stuck in an identity they’ve defined.
Our job is to locate and mobilize strengths, helping the family to outgrow constraining patterns of personal interaction.