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Tom Moon, M.F.T. Category: Uncategorized

Category: Uncategorized

Dysfunctional Family Roles 3. The Lost Child

All children in dysfunctional families suffer some degree of neglect, and are also acutely aware of how much chaos, conflict, and pain there is in the family. In their efforts to respond to these difficult situations, they very often adopt one of four stereotypical roles: the hero, the scapegoat, the lost child, and the mascot….

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Dysfunctional Family Roles 2. The Scapegoat

In the previous column, I described dysfunctional families as “characterized by abuse coupled with denial that any abuse is going on; by disrespect and violations of members’ boundaries; by shaming and lack of empathy; and usually by a fair amount of chaos, often due to alcoholism or drug abuse,” and I noted that children in…

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Dysfunctional Family Roles 1. The Hero

The phrase “dysfunctional family” may have become a cliché, but it does describe something real and all-too-common. Dysfunctional families are characterized by abuse coupled with denial that any abuse is going on; by disrespect and violations of members’ boundaries; by shaming and lack of empathy; and usually by a fair amount of chaos, often due…

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Distractions

  “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That saying, which Plato attributed to Socrates, succinctly expresses the basic value underlying psychotherapy and most other forms of personal exploration – the idea that self-knowledge is a fundamental value in human life.   All methods of self-understanding, from western psychotherapy to Eastern paths of spiritual self-inquiry,…

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Fearing Hope

Tyler has been talking with me for over a year about how much he hates his job. He’s underpaid and underappreciated and his friends and colleagues continually assure him that he can find something better. His resolution for the New Year was to find a new job, but week after week he arrives at his…

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Bad Attitudes

One of the great secrets of life, and a central insight of cognitive therapy, was summed up in a simple way two thousand years ago by the Stoic philosopher, Epictetus: “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them.” Most of us assume, most of the time, that when…

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Pride Matters 2016

(Written the week of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, Florida.) Maybe we’d become too complacent. I think I had. We’ve all known what it feels like to be unsafe in the world, and we’ve known how much it hurts to be “otherized” – to be evicted from the circle of “us” and to be treated…

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Choose Optimism

It probably won’t surprise anyone that an optimistic outlook is good for your physical and emotional well-being. Optimists react to problems with a sense of confidence in their ability to respond effectively to the challenges in their lives. They are hopeful about the future, and believe that their personal problems, as well as those of…

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Generosity and Well-Being

If you’re having a bad day, what is the best way to boost your mood? Will you be more likely to feel better if you do something to treat yourself, or will you feel better if you focus on doing something nice for others? Psychologists have actually researched this question, and have come up with…

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Holding On to a Toxic Partner

Q: My close friend Mark (that’s not his real name) – fell in love with someone nine years ago – I’ll call him Sam. Sam has done nothing but harm to him. He can’t hold down a job, even though Mark spent a lot of money he doesn’t have for schools and training programs for…

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