Many dysfunctional stereotypes in the family are reproduced in generations. For example, the alcoholism, the suicides, Lovelace, etc.
Today it is well established genetic disorders, and just patterns of behavior with patterns of inheritance. Hence, family psychologists are interested in the family life history of the studied family and each of the family members they make up. This interest helps to understand the actual problem that arose. One of the techniques by which you can correctly learn the history is the technique of genograms. It was created by muray Bowel, an American psychologist. This technique allows you to record not only the structure of the family, but also to verify a particular type of relationship in families. Circle-denoting a woman, square-a man. The line of their connection is marriage. Children are indicated by a circle or square, respectively, and the age is placed inside. This gives an idea of the nature of the relationship in the family. If someone in the family has died, this is indicated by a crossed-out square, put the dates of life and death. Abortions and miscarriages are a crossed-out triangle. Divorce is indicated by two parallel lines. Restoring a marriage is a line that reconnects a square and a circle. A link without marriage is a dotted line. Also, they fix the nature of the relationship – two parallel lines in good relations, distant relations-a dotted line. In families, there are symbiotic relationships – 3 parallel lines. This is a very close relationship with a pronounced emotional dependence of people on each other. With increasing interpersonal distance, children find it difficult to tolerate separation. There are various neurotic States, the child becomes more infantile, he is not able to start and lead an independent life. If 2 elements are outlined with a dotted line, there is a coalition. If there is a coalition of symbiotic relationship-there is a dysfunction. Any vertical dysfunction will be reproduced horizontally.
The two slashes are an emotional break-up relationship. Conflict relationships in families are represented by a wavy line.
Ambivalent relationships – 2 parallel lines crossed by a sinusoid-when people have strong conflicting relationships with each other. Periods of intimacy alternate with conflicts.
The genogram fields contain names, dates of birth and death, and significant dates in the family history (moves, arrests, etc.). If the genogram is considered in three generations, you can determine the source of the family myth. This technique allows you to set the boundaries of the family who had similar stereotypes. There are certain patterns that are reproduced in the family.
The genogram technique also allows you to determine the degree of differentiation in the family. What is differentiation – this concept defines the characteristic of the individual psyche and reflects the degree of differentiation between the individual and the functional. The lower the level of differentiation, the easier it is for thought processes to fall under the power of emotions. The higher the dependence of an individual’s behavior on the situation. There is a differentiation scale with 4 areas.
Extreme region 0-25% – emotions completely dominate the thought processes. Behavior settings are completely dependent on stereotypes. In stable conditions, it functions based on common sense, but with a little stress, emotions acquire full power over such a person.
At 25-50%, emotions are also predominately possessed by a person, but they are more adaptive and less conditioned by the environment. There is purposeful behavior, but the person is overly dependent on the opinions of others. Every step a person checks with the environment and does not trust himself very much. Significant actions a person can not do, if the environment is going to look at it negatively.
50-70% of the intellectual functions are sufficiently formed not to fall under emotions. They only get the upper hand when under severe stress. Most of humanity falls under this parameter. Intelligence determines decision-making, and emotions are active in close relationships.
How it’s related to family. Undifferentiation means that when interacting in a group, the individual easily enters into an emotional fusion with others. A person who is not able to separate his mind from emotions can not separate it in others, especially in loved ones. Such a person without realizing it charges the family with different emotions. Such a family is called emotionally fused. Family ego mass-it is not clear who is the source of emotions. This emotional cohesion begins to affect the model of individual behavior and family behavior. A child in such a family will become infected, for example, with the emotions of the mother. Having created his family, he will try to excessively merge with his wife.
In fused families, mutual emotional involvement is so great that they know each other’s thoughts and fantasies. If this super-proximity is constantly observed, it becomes unbearable. This super-proximity is characterized by periods of alienation. Then periods of super-proximity, then alienation. Often in such ambivalent families, schizophrenic children appear. The exit from such a fused family can be carried out not by separation, but by an emotional break. Each is a vital element for each other. When the son seeks separation, the mother will do her best to keep him. At best, they’ll marry someone. With such a fusion, it is not possible to set the distance in the family by a finite amount. It is not possible to preserve the relationship of an adult son and mother. There are 2 options-either a state of fusion and then symbiosis, or a situation of rupture and then the distance becomes infinite. The situation of an emotional break is not the opposite, but its reverse side, i.e., on the contrary, it assumes super-proximity. This means that such a son can get away from the symbiosis with his mother, can break the connection with his mother and go far away. But he will still take the image of his mother with him. This relationship will still remain in it. And in a new relationship with his wife, he will still continue to reproduce the relationship with his mother. Genes have nothing to do with it, just a stereotype. Thus, this low differentiation at the individual level leads to the fact that the family will also be characterized with immaturity, low stress resistance, dependence on mass consciousness and the opinion of others, and unrealistic self-esteem. Super-proximity will alternate with aloofness. The emotional state of the family will depend on the same factor. The wife is sad and the husband coming home falls into sadness, there also fall children indiscriminately to the reasons. The family will be characterized by resistance to the influence of a psychologist, conservative Any external influences for the family can be fatal. These are people who can’t live without each other. This makes it impossible to adapt to changes, including moving from one stage of family life to another.
When analyzing genograms, you can fully identify another key concept – the triangle. This is a structure that includes 3 people. It has a higher degree of stability. Very often, coalitions begin to form within the triangle, which occur as follows:
If a family alternates between super-closeness and alienation, then at some stage there may be a situation of emotional separation. If this relationship is not stabilized by something, then it is very possible to break up the family. Then there is a third participant, whom the couple involves in their relationship and on whom an excess of emotions can be poured. This is referred to as a triangulation of the family. The husband can’t find a relationship with the mother-in-law, the wife is the object of triangulation – what kind of husband are you? what kind of wife are you?
In triangulation, instead of an emotional exchange between spouses, the emotional channels between them overlap, and open up in relation to the third person. The emotional exchange is very disturbed, the third is released when the world is at peace, but when the conflict increases, the triangulated family member is pulled up. In fact, he does not live for himself but to serve the dysfunction of family members. This is a way to stabilize the family. Usually these are the least undifferentiated family members – either the mother-in-law or the children. For the triangle, not only people can be used, but also a pet, or a hobby (fishing), religious activity, workaholism, or ideology (Communist). In family therapy, the first thing a family does is try to triangulate the psychologist and include him in a triangle. It is important not to give in to this. Family counseling is always neutral and distant, while maintaining the possibility of positive actions in the family. This is difficult to achieve, but it is important to maintain maximum neutrality.