This is a Two-Part Post: Dave: This illustration gives a picture of how the use of a psychiatric diagnosis and
Our current cultural model for conditions like anxiety and depression uses language like “chemical imbalance”, implying that suffering is related to our brain chemistry. In this post, Dave Keith offers another perspective that looks at our moods as dynamic states related to the context of our living patterns.
The modern Child Psychiatry perspective is limited to focusing on the child, without including the family culture in which that child lives. This narrow understanding contributes to the child’s isolation. That little person is usually worried about, and trying to help, the parents. No matter how it appears.
Lack of curiosity is a dangerous thing–in medicine, therapy, culture. Trump’s manner of speaking certainly promotes “not knowing what you don’t want to know”. He is a disturbing model for over-simplified explanations and sneering at complexity or any level of sophistication or subtlety.
In many professions now, so-called “quality measurement” is the dominant language, reducing, quantifying, and eventually, side-lining the importance of human interaction. This can not be good for us as living, breathing, multi-dimensional beings.
Here are my reflections on a rather subtle, yet insidious family pattern characterized by invisible (unconscious) demands for false togetherness, the demand that all family members pretend to think the same. This enforced “togetherness” has a formidable, unyielding tone, suggesting it is not to be questioned.
Here is a second session from the family with “enforced togetherness” where one member is what I call “insane”; locked inside sanity, locked in unbending, pathological sanity.
Enforced “togetherness” in families, though largely unconscious, emerges in the way a family tells its story. It is not a unity which augments family spirit, it restricts. The restriction serves a purpose for some. The need for protection is motivated by a history of trauma or too much despair. But often a family member, usually a child, may be sacrificed to maintain this appearance of group unity.
Here’s a first session with a “misbehaving” boy that reflects the corrosive effect of “enforced unity” in families
Dave: In an earlier post, Defiance in the Family: A Rebellion in the Name of Health, I described our idea