The family systems theory is a theory of human behavior that views the family as an emotional unit and uses “systems thinking” to describe the complex interactions in the family. It is the nature of a family that its member are intensely connected emotionally. Often people feel distant or disconnected from their families, but this is more feeling than fact. Family members so profoundly affect each other’s thoughts, feelings, and actions that it often seems as if people are living under the same “emotional skin.” People solicit each other’s attention, approval, and support and react to each other’s needs, expectations, and distress. The connectedness and reactivity make the functioning of family members interdependent. A change in one person’s functioning is predictably followed by a reaction in the function of other family members.
When family members get anxious, the anxiety can escalate by spreading infectiously among them. As anxiety goes up, the emotional connectedness of family members becomes more stressful than comforting. Eventually, one or more members feel overwhelmed, isolated, or out of control.
These are the people who accommodate the most to reduce tension in others. For example, a person takes too much responsibility for the distress of others in relationship to their unrealistic expectations of him. The one accommodating the most literally “absorbs” anxiety and thus is the family member most vulnerable to problems such as depression, alcoholism, affairs, or physical illness. This could be one of the most powerful seminars for both parenting and relationships.
This seminar will be presenting, interacting, and guiding you in discovering the role and identity in your family of origin based on the pre-existing emotional system of the family.